Arizona State Senate Evacuated After Police Deploy Tear Gas Against Protesters
arizona state senate evacuated after police deploy tear gas against

Arizona State Senate Evacuated After Police Deploy Tear Gas Against Protesters

  • Hundreds protested outside the government building in response to the SCOTUS decision to overturn Roe v. Wade. 
  • The Arizona Senate Republican Caucus said the Senate is secure, but smoke and tear gas spread into the chambers.
  • Senators had to relocate to another area of the building to finish their session. 

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The Arizona State Senate Building in Phoenix was evacuated on Friday after police deployed tear gas at demonstrators.

A video posted on social media by Republican State Senator Michelle Ugenti-Rita shows dozens of people protesting outside the government building in response to the Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe v. Wade. 

Other videos by a bystander show law enforcement standing near the building’s windows while firing tear gas into the crowd. 

According to a tweet by the Arizona Senate Republican Caucus, the Senate was secure and safe, but smoke and tear gas spread into the chambers.

Police in riot gear surround the Arizona Capitol after protesters reached the front of the Arizona Sentate building as protesters reacted to the Supreme Court decision to overturn the landmark Roe v. Wade abortion decision Friday, June 24, 2022, in Phoenix.

Police in riot gear surround the Arizona Capitol after protesters reached the front of the Arizona Sentate building as protesters reacted to the Supreme Court decision to overturn the landmark Roe v. Wade abortion decision Friday, June 24, 2022, in Phoenix.

AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin

AP reports that this incident caused lawmakers to shelter in the basement for roughly 20 minutes before they had to flee the building due to the tear gas fumes. 

Kim Quintero, the director of communications with the Arizona State Senate Republican Caucus told Insider they were anticipating protests due to the Supreme Court decision, so there was an increased presence of law enforcement. 

Quintero said protestors gathered around 6 p.m. As they were walking toward the building, she said a sergeant locked the door and Republican Senate President Karen Fann called a recess.

“Everyone was safe and no one was able to breach the building,” Quintero told Insider. 

Senators had to relocate to another area of the Capitol to finish their session as they voted on final bills, such as a school choice bill.

Abortion laws in Arizona are on shaky ground, as abortions are banned after 15 weeks of pregnancy.

Experts told The Arizona Republic to expect a challenge to the state’s anti-abortion laws and threats to abortion providers.

In a press release, The Arizona House Republican Leaders praised the SCOTUS decision, stating it “was the right one.”

 

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