PHOENIX (3TV/CBS 5) - An analysis of 266 jail booking records related to the protests during the weekend of May 30 shows nearly all of the protesters who were arrested were from Arizona.

This contradicts the statements from local police sources, as well as federal law enforcement leaders.

Arrest records show protesters local, not from out of town

"Groups of outside agitators and extremists are exploiting the situation to pursue their own separate and violent and agenda," said William Barr last week. Barr is the US Attorney General.

Barr described the groups as, "Anarchic and extremists groups, far left extremists groups, using Antifa-like tactics many of whom traveled from outside the state to promote the violence."

But that scenario has not played out in arrest records across the country, as well as here in Maricopa County.

Of the 266 people arrested during the weekend which saw the most violence here in the Valley, only a handful are from outside of town. Those arrested were booked into jail on crimes that ranged from rioting to disturbing the peace.

Brief background checks on nearly 100 of them showed most lived in the Phoenix area, had no prior criminal record and ended up being released without being charged.

CBS 5 Investigates found former high school football stars, students, socially-conscious demonstrators, as well as some with prior criminal histories. 

One man who was arrested faced weapons misconduct charges, unlawful assembly, drug charges and disorderly conduct. His Linkedin account showed he is employed in Phoenix.

The mother of one woman who was arrested waited outside the jail for any sign of her daughter. She wrote on Facebook that her daughter had special needs and that police arrested her without provocation.

"It's very convenient and it's very easy to say, you know these extremist groups are out here," said Keisha McKinnor with the Phoenix office of the Anti-Defamation League [ADL].

The ADL tracks extremists and hate groups, but has not identified any that have boots on the ground in any of the protests in any great numbers.

"Americans just have to look at the fact that it's the American people. It is your neighbor. It is your coworker. It is your ally that is out here marching and saying, 'We have to do something,'" said McKinnor.

Morgan Loew's hard-hitting investigations can be seen weekdays on CBS 5 News at 6:30 p.m. and 10 p.m.
 
 

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