About 100 people tried to get into Arizona Senate, tear gas used at protest after abortion ruling
PHOENIX — Upwards of 100 people tried to get into the Arizona Senate building and tear gas had to be used at a protest in downtown Phoenix Friday night following the Supreme Court’s decision to overturn the constitutional right to abortions, authorities said.
One person was arrested and damage was done to multiple Senate doors and memorials in Wesley Bolin Plaza, Arizona Department of Public Safety spokesman Bart Graves told KTAR News 92.3 FM.
“As groups realized the state legislature was in session, they attempted to breach the doors of the Arizona Senate and force their way into the building,” according to a press release from AZDPS.
Graves said video footage of the attempt to breach showed dozens, if not 100, people trying to get in.
About 7,000 to 8,000 people showed up to protest the ruling, which ended nearly 50 years of protections for women.
The protest started at 7 p.m. and about two hours later, law enforcement declared the gathering an unlawful assembly, according to KTAR News 92.3 FM’s Taylor Kinnerup.
Protestors then moved to the Senate building where police in riot gear were protecting the front doors of the building.
Members of both parties captured pictures and videos of the scene from the inside of the building.
Arizona Capitol pic.twitter.com/sf8UcFvByD
— Michelle Ugenti-RITA (@MichelleUgenti) June 25, 2022
The Senate finished work for the day in another room following a recess due to tear gas and smoke seeping into the chambers.
Correction: I didn't know if there was any incursion. I was on the floor voting and was ushered into the basement and told it was because there was a breach of the doors and tear gas was being fired.
— Sen. Martín Quezada (@SenQuezada29) June 25, 2022
“We are incredibly thankful for our local law enforcement who quickly intervened during what could have been a destructive and dangerous situation for our members, staff and public inside the Senate,” said Senate President Karen Fann in a statement.