/ Modified feb 13, 2021 2:16 p.m.

Prosecutor moves to drop protest cases with gang charges

Maricopa County Attorney Allister Adel said her office filed motions to dismiss the cases while it reevaluates evidence

Maricopa county superior courthouse Maricopa County Superior Court
Tony Webster

Prosecutors are moving to dismiss charges against 16 people accused of assisting or participating in a criminal street gang after being arrested at a Phoenix protest against police brutality.

Maricopa County Attorney Allister Adel said Friday night that her office filed motions to dismiss the cases while it reevaluates evidence.

The motions, which would allow charges to be refiled, came after Phoenix television station KNXV aired investigative reports on the gang charges and circumstances related to handling of other protests.

The American Civil Liberties Union of Arizona and others had called the gang charges a political prosecution intended to silence dissent and scare protesters.

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