Saturday night Phoenix-area protests

PHOENIX (3TV/CBS 5) -- More than 100 people that march Saturday night were arrested by Phoenix Police.

The arrests were for crimes involving rioting, unlawful assembly and aggravated assault of a police officer, according to police. Multiple people were involved in arson, property damage and assault. 

"Phoenix officers also detained a handful of juveniles for crimes involving Curfew, Rioting and Unlawful Assembly. During last night's civil unrest, vehicles were also towed," according to Phoenix Police's Mercedes Fortune. 

Unlawful Assembly was declared after 10:20 p.m. Saturday evening. Tempe and Mesa police departments assisted.

Arizona's Family has learned almost two dozen people arrested Saturday night on riot charges have been released from jail based on information provided by police. Court paperwork for the suspects shows Phoenix Police copied and pasted the same probable cause statement for multiple suspects. The probable cause statement is where the arresting agency provides written testimony of why the person was arrested.

"In order for a judge to determine whether someone should be held in custody, they have to determine there's probable cause that a crime occurred and if this person did it," said criminal defense attorney Russ Richelsoph.

Richelsoph is not handling any of these cases but noted the probable cause statement used over and over again did not include important details.

"While there's a statement of what happened, the police did not include any statement that this person was involved in it," says Richelsoph. "That alone would make the probable cause statement defective."

While the judge found no probable cause, that does not necessarily mean the suspects will not be prosecuted. Each has been scheduled for hearings later this month, where prosecutors would have to provide more evidence if they wish to proceed with riot charges. Phoenix police said Monday they were prepared to add more information to the cases and resubmit for review.

If you have any information about anyone involved in criminal damage and assaults Saturday evening, police urge you to call Silent Witness at 480-WITNESS.



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