An anniversary march in downtown Phoenix over the 2014 police killing of Michael Brown Jr., is met with 8 arrests by Phoenix police

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Jason White

Protestors gathered infront of CIty Hall in Downtown Phoenix

Ivana Venema-Nunez , Reporter

Sunday marked the six-year anniversary of the death of Michael Brown Jr. who sparked the Ferguson protests in 2014 along with the ensuing protests over the death of George Floyd that have continued since the end of May.

In the summer of 2014, Brown and his friend Dorian Johnson had been stopped by police for walking in the middle of the road after police grew suspicious that he had carried out a robbery at a convenience store earlier.

An altercation erupted and Brown, unarmed, was shot of total of six times by police officer Darren Wilson.

A grand jury later ruled that Wilson would not be charged over the shooting.

In downtown Phoenix Sunday, an anniversary march over Brown’s killing was organized by W.E. Rising Project and the Good Guys Doing Good Trouble expressed their main goal is to stop the police from killing Black and Brown lives.

The group initiated the silence march by walking to the Phoenix Police Headquarters in downtown Phoenix.

From the beginning of the march Phoenix Police Department officials demanded that the mostly peaceful crowd disperse or they would be subject to arrest citing obstruction of the roadway.

While approaching the police headquarters marchers began chanting to  “We Ready, We Ready, We Ready for Yall.”

The situation escalated when protestors pushed down the metal barricade separating the street from the sidewalk of the police headquarters and police in riot gear came outside from inside the building to push protestors back onto the street.

Police fired flash-bang grenades into the air and fired pepper spray directly at a protestor.

One protestor, Riley Behrens told The Republic that he was shot eight times with pepper balls and rubber bullets while walking away from police headquarters.

Special speaker, Bruce Frank Jr., a frontline activist, speaker and former State Representative of Missouri, was among those at Sunday’s march in downtown Phoenix.

Northeast Valley News spoke with Cindy Ivy, the mother of one of the activists, Jonah Ivy, who was arrested earlier when police came out of police headquarters. Ivy expressed concern over the police presence with such a small crowd of marchers.

“It seems like there are more police than protestors,” Ivy said. “There’s so many police it seems like a waste of resources.”

“I was just coming to listen to Frank’s speak because I love listening to him talk—you know, I have a lot of respect for him, so that’s why I was coming but by the time I got there he and my son got arrested,” Ivy said.

The crowd of marchers dispersed from the police headquarters but police followed the protestors for several blocks.

By sundown, Phoenix police had arrested a total of eight people according to spokesperson Sgt. Ann Justus.