Phoenix Releases Plans For President Trump’s Visit

Published: Monday, February 17, 2020 - 10:17am
Updated: Monday, February 17, 2020 - 10:18am
Tia Dufour/White House
Donald Trump.

Safety and security plans are underway for President Donald Trump’s campaign event in Phoenix on Wednesday.

President Trump is scheduled to appear at the Arizona Veteran’s Memorial Coliseum at 7 p.m. Since the coliseum is on state fair grounds, the Department of Public Safety will handle law enforcement inside the venue.

Phoenix Police will oversee law enforcement outside the coliseum. Demonstrators will be directed to an area on the north side of Encanto between 17th and 19th avenues. A news conference with DPS and Phoenix will take place on Tuesday.

This will be the first presidential visit since Phoenix deployed body worn cameras for officers. During Trump’s 2017 visit to Phoenix, police deployed pepper spray and non-lethal projectiles against a crowd. Police said people ignored commands to disperse while many people complained they heard no warnings. Since then, Phoenix purchased two long-range acoustic devices. 

When discussing the devices in November 2018, Police Chief Jeri Williams told council members they would be used to send tones to get a crowd's attention followed by police instructions on how to disperse. Some community members expressed concern the devices could be used as weapons but Williams said policy language and training would prevent that.

She said the tones will be at 113 decibels which is comparable to a chainsaw.

What follows is information provided by Phoenix and shared on its website as part of presidential visit plans.

What is an Unlawful Assembly?

An Unlawful Assembly is when a group of people are involved in criminal activity and are posing a danger to themselves or others. The incident commander makes this determination to protect the security and safety of everyone in the area. When possible, those in the vicinity will hear a message over a loud speaker and given time to disperse. There may be situations where immediate police intervention is needed. People who fail to follow the instructions may be subject to arrest. We want everyone to understand the message coming via the speaker. It will be delivered in both English and Spanish and will be replayed repeatedly.

In an effort to make the entire crowd aware of the need to disperse, the officer will say something similar to this:

“I am ___ (name) ___, a police officer for the City of Phoenix. I hereby declare this to be an unlawful assembly in the name of the People of the State of Arizona and command all persons so assembled at ___ (location) ___ to immediately and peacefully disperse. Arizona Revised Statute 13-2902 prohibits remaining present at an unlawful assembly and if you do not disperse, you will be subject to arrest."

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