It’s been two weeks since Phoenix police broke up the protests outside President Trump’s rally with tear gas and pepper balls, and the conversation about those crowd control tactics continues.
Several speakers voiced displeasure with the police response at a community listening session with Chief Jeri Williams on Tuesday night at Steele Indian School Park.
“My only comment for future protests would be to come up with some sort of more effective warning system -- loudspeakers, big signs, something – because we got nothing, and I was very surprised,” said one woman.
Other speakers called for an independent investigation of the police actions on Aug. 22.
The tone was drastically different from last week’s raucous City Council meeting, where protesters from the Puente Movement and other groups commandeered the meeting with chants, and angrily sounded off for more than five hours.
Puente and other outspoken groups were noticeably absent from Tuesday’s public listening session. Representatives from Puente, the ACLU and other groups met privately with Chief Williams and Mayor Greg Stanton at Arizona State University before the public meeting.
Chief Williams, Puente, and the ACLU declined to discuss the private meeting afterward.
Discussion over the police response will extend to Wednesday’s City Council meeting. A group called Rally for Law Enforcement announced it will speak out at the meeting in support of the Phoenix Police Department.
[SLIDESHOW: Police deploy tear gas at Trump protesters]
“The Phoenix Police Department did a good job in keeping the public safe that day and you can expect police supporters to echo that sentiment at the next City Council meeting. We will let the Mayor and the City Council members know that Phoenix PD has support and that the protesters that took over last week’s meeting definitely do not represent the majority of the community,” said Nohl Rosen, the group’s founder.
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