APD arrests, pepper sprays protesters during Sunday demonstration | KOB 4

APD arrests, pepper sprays protesters during Sunday demonstration

Grace Reader
Updated: August 13, 2020 10:02 PM
Created: July 19, 2020 09:51 PM

Update: Charges against Frankie Grady were nolled on Aug. 12 due "case being filed incorrectly." Charges could be refiled. 

Grady's attorney issued the following statement:

Commend district attorneys office for doing the right thing in recognizing the city of Albuquerque’s enforcement of this law on civic plaza during lawful demonstrations is wrong

We believe that in addition to the law not applying. It’s also being enforced unfairly in a discriminatory manner. We believe it was not enforced during the cowboys for trump protest. It was enforced for the black lives matter protesters.

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Several people were arrested and pepper sprayed after protesters clashed on Albuquerque’s Civic Plaza Sunday.

According to an APD spokesperson, officers arrested three people for not following a city order that bans guns at city parks, which includes Civic Plaza. 

“One of those individuals told police he was not going to leave, and they returned to the stage at Civic Plaza,” read the APD press release in part.

The Sunday protest was a Black Lives Matter counter-protest in response to language being used by another group.

Two of the arrests were counter-protesters, while one arrest was a man protesting the State's public health order. 

Police said they followed the same protocol at the Thursday protest when ten armed individuals showed up at Civic Plaza. When confronted by officers, those individuals complied by either disarming or leaving the premises.

Frankie Grady, a counter-protester, said police officers detained him before he had the chance to comply with the rule.

“Shortly after our arrival we were approached by two officers that informed us of a new city ordinance of there being no weapons allowed here at Civic Plaza. We took the papers from them, we went to the microphone to announce it—on Facebook and to the crowd—so we could try to keep anyone else who was trying to bring their weapons to keep them in the car,” Grady said.

“We were approached by ten officers from here, ten officers from there. They surrounded us and told us that we were not complying. I said you literally just gave us the paper five minutes ago. We didn't even read it yet. We were arrested,” he added.

Grady said he wants to know why he was so quick to be arrested when people who brought firearms to the Thursday protest were not.

“It poses a larger question: Why were two African Americans, expressing our same Second Amendment rights, why were we arrested, but that other group, were not?”

Grady said he wants the city and the state to apply the laws equally.

“If I literally broke the law then I deserve to be punished, however I did not break the law. Those ladies and gentleman that were here Thursday, they broke the same law that we are accused of breaking today. They were notified of the same ordinance that we were notified today however they were able to peacefully stay here for the entire duration of their protest, so if that doesn't have anything to do with the color of my skin somebody has some explaining to do because I clearly don't understand,” he said.

After Grady and others were arrested, a second confrontation occurred when APD said a female counter-protester assaulted a man with an American flag who was expressing disagreement, but counter-protesters said it was the other way around.

“One of our female protesters, she was approached by a gentleman with an American flag who attempted to assault her. Having previously attempted to try to assault another one of our protesters, we tried to get APD involved to get this man away from the protest. He attempted, like I said, to assault one of our female protesters. She pushed him away in self-defense because he was literally getting ready to attack her,” Grady said. “APD came out of nowhere and pepper sprayed us.”

KOB 4 asked APD if charges were filed against the people who were arrested, but they did not respond before this story aired.

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