Downtown Phoenix, AZ: Peaceful protesting against United States Supreme Court overturning Roe versus Wade turned chaos and unrest outside the Arizona State Capitol building last Friday.

By: Zachary Lopez (ZachNews)

Source: Arizona Department of Public Safety (Information and Press Release)

Pictures: Arizona Department of Public Safety and Arizona State Senator Michelle Ugenti-Rita (Courtesy)

Downtown Phoenix, Arizona: Peaceful protesting against the United States Supreme Court overturning of Roe versus Wade turned into chaos and unrest outside the Arizona State Capitol building on Friday, June 24th, 2022.

According to the Arizona Department of Public Safety, an estimated 7,000 to 8,000 people to the Arizona State Capitol building, and what began as a peaceful protest evolved into anarchical and criminal actions by masses of splinter groups.

As lawmakers were still in session inside the Arizona State Capitol building, the Arizona Department of Public Safety said the groups realized the state legislature was in session, they attempted to breach the doors of the Arizona Senate and force their way into the building.

According to the Arizona Department of Public Safety, the violence of their efforts literally shook the building and terrified citizens and law makers who occupied the building, and as the glass doors bowed from attempts of forced entry, the occupants of the building were instructed to move to secure locations.

The lawmakers who were working to complete their 2022 session were forced to huddle briefly in a basement inside the building.

According to Democratic Arizona State Senator Martin Quezada, the incident sent Senate lawmakers into the basement for about 20 minutes, and forced the Senate to move its proceedings to a hearing room instead of the Senate chamber.

Video from Republican Arizona State Senator Michelle Ugenti-Rita show the moment as protesters gathered at the doors of the Arizona State Capitol building; tapping and banging on the glass and doors.

Republican Arizona State Senator tweeted via Twitter, “We are currently there being held hostage inside the Senate building due to members of the public trying to breach our security. We smell teargas and the children of one of the members are in the office sobbing with fear. I expect a J24 committee to be created immediately.”

According to the Arizona Department of Public Safety, due to the direct threat to the occupants of the Senate building and damage to the building itself, Arizona State Troopers took immediate action and utilized tactics including the deployment of field force teams and tear gas.

Videos from Republican Arizona State Senator Michelle Ugenti-Rita show the moment as troopers from the Arizona Department of Public Safety prepared to protect the inside of the Arizona State Capitol building.

According to Arizona Department of Public Safety Bart Graves, there were no lawmakers being held hostage.

At this moment, no broken glass was visible at the Senate building at the Arizona State Capitol building after the crowd dispersed, and the Senate reconvened to vote on its final bills before adjourning for the year shortly after midnight.

As the riotous behavior at the Legislature was taking place, the Arizona Department of Public Safety said concurrent and spillover criminal misconduct in the form of felony criminal damage and the defacing of state memorials was occurring in Wesley Bolin Plaza.

According to the Arizona Department of Public Safety, troopers exercised patience and application of tactics in Wesley Bolin Plaza as some people unwisely brought children to the protest turned unlawful assembly, and after multiple warnings, and notifications of trespass and unlawful assembly, state troopers deployed gas and strategically moved to clear the plaza.

After the plaza was cleared, the Arizona Department of Public Safety said additional state buildings in the area sustained criminal damage, including at the Wesley Bolin Memorial Amphitheatre, 158th Regimental Memorial, Arizona Peace Officers Memorial, Korean War Memorial, Arizona Law Enforcement Canine Memorial, Operation Enduring Freedom Memorial and Lt. Frank Luke Jr. Memorial.

At this moment, no arrests have been made from the chaos and unrest outside the Arizona State Capitol building.

Republican Senate President Karen Fann issued a news release describing it as a thwarted insurrection, while protesters called it a violent overreaction by police who they said acted without warning or justification.

Protests also occurred in other cities across the United States after the United States Supreme Court in Washington, District of Columbia ruled to overturn Roe versus Wade and the fundamental right to abortion that has been the law nationwide for almost 50 years.

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