Protester hit by gas round in viral video seeks fresh start

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PHOENIX (3TV/CBS 5) -

It was the shot seen around the world.

Last summer after President Trump rallied in downtown Phoenix, protesters took to the streets, and police met them there. 

The night ended with pepper balls flying.

Our cameras caught this moment when one man, Joshua Cobin, was brought to the ground by a below-the-belt shot. 

Two days after this incident, Cobin was arrested at work and charged with a felony. 

"It was about 1 p.m. and the HR guy is like 'Hey Josh police are here, they say they want you to come down and they say they have the building surrounded if you try to leave,'" recalled Cobin. 

This week he made a deal pleading guilty to unlawful assembly, a misdemeanor,  in exchange to have the felony charge dropped. 

"It's been interesting, that's for sure," said Cobin. 

His injuries are healed but his memories are still fresh. Now he wants to clear his name. 

"The police, as well as people on the other side, tried to paint me as a terrorist or an ANTIFA member. Which I am not," said Cobin. 

Cobin says there was more to that night many people have not seen. He points to the moments before the infamous impact. 

"There I am, look someone fell over, grabbing them, helping them, running away. And look I get shot in the back by Officer Turiano." 

Thirty seconds later, Cobin comes back kicks a gas canister at officers, and is shot again.

"Yes, I overstepped the line I would say, hence my plea there," he said. 

He still believes police responded too harshly that night

Now he's working to start a non-profit he calls the Arizona Foundation for Victims of Police Abuse.

"Our primary goal is to educate people about instances of police overreach in Arizona," said Cobin.

He says part of that will also be offering bail relief for those who believe they're being wrongfully detained, among other criteria. 

He's hoping to collect donations for his cause and has set up a mailbox at 925 W Baseline Rd Ste 105-A9, Tempe, AZ 

"Yeah my opinion might make people angry," said Cobin, "But this is America and we're allowed to make people angry with our opinions." 

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Lauren ReimerLauren Reimer joined the 3TV/CBS 5 family in June 2016. She is originally from Racine, WI but is no stranger to our heat.

Click to learn more about Lauren.

Lauren Reimer

She previously worked for KVOA in Tucson, covering topics that matter to Arizonans including the monsoon, wildfires and border issues. During the child migrant crisis of 2014, Reimer was one of only a handful of journalists given access to the U.S. Customs and Border Protection detention facility in Nogales, where hundreds of unaccompanied children were being held after crossing into the U.S. from Central America. Before that, Reimer worked at WREX in Rockford, IL. Lauren is a graduate of the University of Wisconsin - Milwaukee and still visits home often. When not chasing news stories, Reimer loves to explore, enjoying everything from trying new adventurous foods to visiting state and national parks or local places of historical significance.

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