Published 12 hours ago
An Arizona prosecutor filed a motion on Friday (Feb. 12) to dismiss charges against 18 people charged for participating in a criminal street gang but were just protesting against police violence, according to KTAR.com.
Maricopa County Attorney Allister Adel said she filed the motions “in the interest of justice.”
This reversal comes after an investigative report by ABC15 raised questions about the prosecutor creating a fictional gang narrative to unjustly prosecute a group of Black Lives Matter protester at a rally in Phoenix last October.
“These political prosecutions should have never happened in the first place. We demand accountability for all prosecutors and police officers involved,” the American Civil Liberties Union of Arizona tweeted in response to the announcement, adding its voice to a chorus of others who said it was a political prosecution.
Allister Adel must drop all charges against ALL protestors. These political prosecutions should have never happened in the first place .We demand accountability for all prosecutors and police officers involved. https://t.co/CigGAeNAVf
— ACLU of Arizona (@ACLUaz) February 13, 2021
Phoenix police officers have a reputation of using excessive force. In recent years, Phoenix police have shot and killed people at a higher rate than most other American police departments, according to ABC15.
Meanwhile, the Phoenix police are accused of targeting activist and former Missouri lawmaker Bruce Franks Jr., who led a non-violent protest on August 9, 2020, the anniversary of the death of Michael Brown. ABC15 said a grand jury indicted him based on selective evidence and testimony from the prosecutor’s office.