Phoenix City Manager Hired Consulting Firm To Tell Police That They Were Wrong
Phoenix, AZ – One week after Phoenix police officers used gas, foam projectiles, and pepper balls to disperse protesters after President Trump’s rally, the city manager is seeking an independent review of the police department’s preparation and response.
The rally was held on August 22 outside the Phoenix Convention Center while President Trump was visiting. The request for an independent review occurred after protesters complained that officers used excessive force, according to Arizona Central.
Protesters complained that there was no warning from officers before any force was used, and they claim that nobody had done anything to provoke the officers.
Here’s a video of the “non-violent protesters” doing “nothing” to provoke police:
Phoenix City Manager Ed Zuercher said, “With the high-profile nature of the events and community concerns and support expressed, it is important to use outside expertise to add a layer of objective review in this situation.”
Many protesters were peaceful for the most part, but small groups of people started throwing rocks, bottles, and fireworks at officers while using the crowd for cover. Officers gave an order to disperse prior to using any force.
In response, police officers used gas and pepper balls, according to department policy and procedure.
Phoenix Police Chief Jeri Williams told reporters after the protest that the department would review the its response to the incident, which is standard. The the chief backing her officers, community leaders insisted on an independent review to provide “transparency.”
In a statement, Councilman Sal DiCiccio said he opposed the review and called it a “witch hunt”. He said “After the selfless AND HEROIC actions of our dedicated police officers WHO came under fire from a handful of radical left-wing PROTESTERS … Phoenix LEADERS have agreed to put an item in front of the council this week to bring in a radical, anti-police consulting firm to ‘review’ the actions of our officers.”
Councilman DiCiccio was the only council member who opposed the review, which will cost $45,000 of the taxpayers’ money.
The firm being hired for the review, OIR Group, appears to be made up of attorneys who lack actual law enforcement experience
City Manager Zuercher sent a letter to Chief Williams advising of the review, saying, “What all members of the Phoenix Police Department accomplished on August 22 was notable. In an emotional atmosphere, our police officers showed professionalism in ensuring the safety and First Amendment rights of the community.
“But there has been “significant community dialogue about how the final hour of the day unfolded.”
Phoenix Mayor Greg Stanton agreed with the decision for an independent review, and said that an independent review “is the most objective and transparent way we can move forward.”
The City Council will vote on the matter on Wednesday, August 30. The City Manager has already hired the OIR Group.