Police and prosecutors in Arizona were caught by a local news station using "outright lies" to prosecute a group of Black Lives Matter protesters as a criminal street gang.
Local news station ABC 15 this month dropped an extensive investigative report that showed law enforcement officials in Maricopa County, Arizona falsely charged a small group of 17 BLM protesters for being a criminal street gang by peddling "gross exaggerations, dubious claims, and outright lies" to a grand jury.
In a demonstration that took place last October, a small group of BLM protesters marched in downtown Phoenix, where they were followed closely by multiple police officers.
During their march, the demonstrators tipped over some traffic cones and temporary street signs as a way to impede the officers who were following them. One demonstrator also dropped a toy smoke maker often used in gender reveal parties as a way to keep the police away.
The group eventually came to a stop and raised the umbrellas they were carrying, forming a dome that was apparently created in anticipation of being tear gassed by police. It was at this point that the officers moved in and arrested them.
Police and prosecutors would then tell grand jurors that the protesters should be considered members of an organized street gang because they were all wearing black, they were all carrying umbrellas, and they were all chanting "All Cops Are Bastards," which prosecutors said was their official gang "slogan."
Law enforcement officials labeled them the "ACAB Gang" and testified that they were just as, if not more dangerous, than the Hells Angels, the Bloods, and the Crips.
In the wake of ABC 15's reporting, Maricopa County Attorney's Office has announced that it has dropped the street gang charge against the protesters and has admitted that prosecutors did not follow proper procedures when securing charges.
Additionally, nine members of the Phoenix Police Department have been reassigned over their roles in charging the protesters for being a street gang.
Watch ABC 15's full report below.