16 arrested during Friday's immigration protest near downtown Phoenix.jpg

From left to right: Sofia Daniel, Phil Martinez, Lerman Montoya, Jose Conchas, Jessica Bristlow, Andrea Benjamin,Kaelen Ebata, and Jamaar Aaron Williams (Source: MCSO)

PHOENIX (3TV/CBS 5) - Phoenix police say 16 people were arrested during an immigration protest Friday night.

The demonstrators were angry about the conditions of the migrant detention centers and Immigration and Customs Enforcement roundups.

The protest blocked traffic near downtown Phoenix and tied up the light rail. 

[WATCH: Immigration protesters block traffic near downtown Phoenix]

The group assembled on Central Avenue north of McDowell Road outside of an ICE office.

Sgt. Mercedes Fortune with the Phoenix Police Department said officers repeatedly asked the participants to move from the road and light rail tracks.

[PHOTOS: Mugshots of arrestees in downtown PHX immigration protest]

But while most people complied, Fortune says, "a small number of people from the group continued to ignore the numerous amount of requests and orders by the officers and an unlawful assembly was established."

[WATCH: Police move in on protesters, start detaining people near downtown Phoenix]

People were chanting "Close those camps, free our kids," in reference to the migrants in the detention centers.

[PHOTOS: Immigration protesters block road outside ICE office in Phoenix]

Police officers were in riot gear and they were telling protesters to get out of the road.

A few of the demonstrators sat down on the light rail tracks while police said through a megaphone they need to leave or be arrested.

Valley Metro said the protest shut down the Central and Encanto light rail station.

At around 10:30 p.m., police made everyone get out of the street and started taking some people into custody.

Fortune says 14 people were arrested for unlawful assembly and obstructing a public thoroughfare.

"During the arrests some of our officers were assaulted as they attempted to take suspects into custody," Fortune said.

Two people were then arrested and booked for aggravated assault on a police officer.  

[WATCH: Two protesters from the ICE rally in Phoenix face felony charges]

Officers could be seen putting zip-ties around people's wrists before putting them into a van.

Officers then stood in a line and moved in to force people to disperse.

Around 11 p.m. officers started to take people into custody who still hadn't left.

Fortune said no officers were hurt and no pepper spray had to be deployed.

The street was reopened around 11:30 p.m.

The protest was part of the Lights for Liberty immigration protests over the border camps that were planned for hundreds of cities across the United States.

President Donald Trump says the ICE roundups will begin Sunday, and his agents plan to eventually arrest millions of immigrants who are in the country illegally.

Administration officials have said they're targeting about 2,000 people in the national sweep, which would yield about 200 arrests based on previous crackdowns.

On Saturday morning, Phoenix police released the names of those arrested in Friday's protest.

Those arrested for unlawful assembly and obstructing a public thoroughfare are:

-Ian Larkin, 29

-Redeen Robinson, 29

-Jorge Soria, 62

Angeles Maldonado, 29

-Andrea Bailey, 23

-Sofia Dancel, 29

-Jose Conchas, 27

-Lerman Montoya, 22

-Phil Martinez, 38

-Amanda Benjamin, 24

-Samuel Torres, 23

-Kaelen Ebata, 20

-Jessica Bristow, 22

-Annestello Pedreiro, 27

The above 14 were booked on misdemeanor charges for blocking lanes of traffic and the light rail, and refusing orders to disperse.

Those arrested for aggravated assault on a police officer are:

-Jakob Beskind, 21

-Jamaar Williams, 34

Beskind and Williams remained in custody Saturday night. They are facing felony charges of aggravated assault on a police officer. 

In a statement, Phoenix police said Beskind and Williams "assaulted officers and attempted to prevent officers from arresting other suspects" during the protest. A spokeswoman declined to immediately provide more details.

Two activists said Beskind was arrested for spraying an officer wearing a riot helmet with silly string.

 "I mean if you really put it into perspective, it's silly string on a helmet that has a barrier -- is that really an assault? Is that really a threat?" said Lerman Montoya, an activist who said he was with Beskind and was also arrested during the protest.

 Records show Williams is an attorney licensed to practice in Arizona.

 "He's an amazing guy. Great attorney. It shocks my mind that he's charged with [aggravated] assault," said attorney Ray Ybarra Maldonado. "I think it's absolutely nonsense. The videos I saw didn't show anything. It showed him standing there, and someone -- officers -- pulling him into them."

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

 


Copyright 2019 KPHO/KTVK (KPHO Broadcasting Corporation). All rights reserved.

 

Locations

Recommended for you