A class-action lawsuit has been filed against the city of Phoenix and Chief Jeri Williams, claiming officers violated the rights of thousands of people who were protesting outside President Donald Trump's August 2017 downtown rally.
The lawsuit, filed in U.S. District Court in Phoenix on behalf of activist groups Puente Arizona and Poder in Action, and four named residents, claims police used excessive force while dispersing crowds outside of the Phoenix Convention Center on Aug. 22, 2017.
Officers fired more than 590 projectiles "indiscriminately" into a crowd that "included children, elderly people, disabled people, and pregnant women," the lawsuit says.
The lawsuit was filed by the Arizona chapter of the ACLU, Los Angeles-based law firm Hadsell Stormer & Renick LLP and civil rights attorney Dan Pochoda. Plaintiffs are requesting a court bar Phoenix police from using excessive force against protesters in the future and are also seeking financial rewards.
A Phoenix police internal investigation found officers could have better communicated with protesters, and Williams said she accepted the community criticism that followed the event, AZCentral reports.