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ABC15: Phoenix Police Created Fictional Gang To Charge 2020 Summer Protesters

Last year, protesters across America took to the streets to voice opposition to police violence against unarmed people of color. Here in Phoenix, some of the demonstrations devolved into violence as counter-protesters and police confronted advocates of Black Lives Matter, the Antifa movement and individuals gathered in groups in demonstration.

In October of last year, Phoenix Police arrested 17 protesters and identified the individuals as having gang affiliations, which allows prosecutors to level harsher charges and penalties than if they were regarded as simply unwieldy demonstrators. But, the protesters argued that they are not gang members on par with Bloods, Crips or biker gangs — that they are simply brought together in support of a cause.

But as Dave Biscobing reports, prosecutors and police did not identify Black Lives Matter or Antifa as the gang these protesters were affiliated with — instead, officers labeled them as part of a gang called “ACAB” and entered the defendants into a state database as gang members.

Biscobing is an investigative reporter with ABC15, and he uncovered the reality behind what he calls a fictional gang. The Show spoke with him to learn about what led to this.

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Lauren Gilger, host of KJZZ's The Show, is an award-winning journalist whose work has impacted communities large and small, exposing injustices and giving a voice to the voiceless and marginalized.