Phoenix police warned demonstrators before releasing pepper spray and gas in the moments after President Donald Trump’s rally Tuesday, but that warning may not have reached everyone, Phoenix Police Chief Jeri Williams said.Amid charges of civil-rights violations and complaints by some protesters that police struck without provocation, Williams commended her officers, saying she was proud of their professionalism in a tense environment. PREVIOUSLY: Phoenix police chief denies aftermath of Trump rally was ‘chaos’ Groups such as the ACLU of Arizona are calling for an independent investigation, saying that Phoenix officers failed to protect the First Amendment rights of demonstrators. The group is asking people to submit photos or video showing excessive use of force by police.Williams said officers showed restraint.“As a matter of fact, we restrained from using more force,” she said. “We didn’t rush the line, we gave people the opportunity to make the decision to (depart) and go home and create a peaceful scenario and situation,” Williams said.She addressed allegations by a Tempe city councilman and former state senator, along with others at the demonstration, that police were too quick to use aggressive crowd-control tactics. Police used smoke canisters, pepper spray, gas and flash-bangs on a largely peaceful crowd.“We did warn people,” Williams said in a… Read full this story
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