Media Contact

Marcela Taracena, ACLU of Arizona, 602-773-6004, media@acluaz.org

June 12, 2019

PHOENIX—A class certification hearing is set for Wednesday in the federal lawsuit Puente v. Phoenix.

The City of Phoenix, Chief of Phoenix Police Jeri Williams, and Phoenix police officers violated the rights of thousands of peaceful anti-Trump protesters who were gathered during and after a rally the president held on August 22, 2017, at the Phoenix Convention Center.

At Wednesday’s hearing, plaintiffs’ counsel will argue that this lawsuit should include the First Amendment and Fourth Amendment interests of people who were at the anti-Trump protest and who may in the future participate in protests or demonstrations within the City of Phoenix.

WHAT: Class Certification Hearing in Puente v. Phoenix.

WHEN: Wednesday, June 12, 2019 at 1:30 p.m. in Courtroom 505, Sandra Day O’Connor U.S. Courthouse, 401 W. Washington St., Phoenix AZ 85003.

Phoenix police officers ended the August 2017 peaceful protest when they began attacking protesters with heavy weaponry including pepper balls, tear gas canisters, and foam batons. Phoenix police fired 590 projectiles indiscriminately and many Arizonans and others went home from the protest with physical and emotional trauma because of police actions.

The lawsuit was filed on behalf of the community organizations Puente and Poder in Action and four individuals who represent a class of people whose First Amendment protected viewpoints critical of the president were violently suppressed by Phoenix police.

The plaintiffs are asking the court to prohibit Phoenix police from using excessive force against protesters in the future and are seeking financial damages for all people whose First Amendment rights of protest and assembly were violated and whose Fourth Amendment rights were violated by the Phoenix Police Department’s violent actions.

In addition to the ACLU of Arizona, plaintiffs are represented by Hadsell Stormer & Renick LLP; Kaye, McLane, Bednarski & Litt, LLP; Goodwin Procter LLP; and Schonbrun Desimone Seplow Harris & Hoffman, LLP.

Plaintiffs’ Amended Motion for Class Certification is available here

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