Several arrests after Scottsdale protest against Ferguson shootingPosted: Updated:
SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- Several people were arrested Saturday in Old Town Scottsdale as they protested the grand jury decision in the Michael Brown case.
The demonstration comes after Officer Darren Wilson, who shot Brown in August, resigned from the Ferguson, Missouri police department.
Before the march, protesters used chalk to write messages on a statue, messages like "no justice no peace" and other messages describing their frustration with police.
They also put a flag on the top of the statue then they walked down the streets of Scottsdale chanting.
Scottsdale police said a group of about 50 people walked down the streets chanting against police brutality.
Police said at first they watched from a distance because the protest was peaceful but then protesters blocked the area of Indian School and Scottsdale roads stopping traffic.
"A big group of people with masks were yelling and protesting the Ferguson event, and right at that moment cops shouted on speakers and said, ‘if you don't get out of the street, we are going to arrest you,’ and people started giving the middle finger and holding up signs," said Henry Carillo, a Scottsdale resident.
Police said a protester then broke a window of an art gallery, hitting a statue and causing $6,000 worth of damage. The protester, 19-year-old Martel Stevenson, of Phoenix, was arrested and charged with criminal damage.
Two people who were originally with the group said they joined the protest because they heard about it on social media, but they never imagined how disruptive it would get.
They decided to come back to the statue and clean off the chalk markings.
"It's not productive at all, so that's why we came back because it's not our thing at all," said Niko Taylor.
"It definitely got out of hand. They were more about anarchy then they were about standing up for what's right," said Cierra Wilson. "We came here for a peaceful protest and didn't know they were going to get aggressive."
Police also arrested two people who allegedly yelled obscenities at the protesters and instigated a fight. Samuel Lee Busic, 26, of Phoenix, was charged with assault and Matthew Michal Belardine, 27, of Ohio, was charged with disorderly conduct.