Protests turned violent in Phoenix, Arizona on Friday and police officers were forced to deploy tear gas on a mob of individuals rioting outside the state’s Senate building in response to the United States Supreme Court’s decision to overturn abortion landmark ruling Roe v. Wade.
The riot escalated into a “hostage situation” as lawmakers were trapped inside the building after being told by authorities not to exit for their own safety, Republican Senator Kelly Townsend said, who referred to the protest as an “attempted insurrection.”
As shocking videos of the situation first began to surface, Sen. Townsend detailed the horrifying moments on Twitter.
“We are currently there being held hostage inside the Senate building due to members of the public trying to breach our security,” Townsend tweeted Friday night. “We smell tear gas and the children of one of the members are in the office sobbing with fear.”
“I expect a J24 committee to be created immediately,” she added, referencing the January 6 committee that is investigating the Jan. 6, 2021, riot at the US Capitol.
Video shows a left-wing mob attempting to break their way into the Arizona state capitol in Phoenix while lawmakers were in session.
DPS (Department of Public Safety) fired off tear gas from inside the second story of the building to disperse the pro-abortion rioters trying to break into the Arizona state capitol. The tear gas successfully cleared the area.
Republican Arizona State Senator Wendy Rogers confirmed the use of tear gas on the crowd after writing on Twitter that “protesters threatened to break the AZ Senate entryway glass.”
Heavily armed officers in riot gear were seen holding the line in and around the legislative building, according to New York Post.
Arizona State Legislator Warren Petersen praised the right to bear arms and said he felt safe during the attempted breach because he was sitting next to armed senators.
“Feeling safe at the Capitol as I sit by 3 of my fellow senators who are armed,” Sen. Warren Petersen said.
The Arizona Department of Public Safety sent out a press release on Saturday detailing the “anarchical and criminal actions” that occurred at the state capitol the previous night.
“Protests over the United States Supreme Court’s ruling overturning Roe v. Wade brought an estimated 7,000 to 8,000 people to the Arizona State Capitol Complex in Phoenix on Friday, June 24, 2022,” the statement reads.
“What began as a peaceful protest evolved into anarchical and criminal actions by masses of splinter groups. As groups realized the state legislature was in session, they attempted to breach the doors of the Arizona Senate and force their way into the building. The violence of their efforts literally shook the building and terrified citizens and law makers who occupied the building. As the glass doors bowed from attempts of forced entry, the occupants of the building were instructed to move to secure locations.”
“Due to the direct threat to the occupants of the Senate building and damage to the building itself, Arizona State Troopers took immediate action and utilized tactics including the deployment of field force teams and tear gas,” the statement explains.
Arizona DPS explained that when rioters cleared the area following the deployment of tear gas, they vandalized and defaced property and historical monuments.
“Significant criminal damage impacted the following memorials and properties: Wesley Bolin Memorial Amphitheatre, 158th Regimental Memorial, Arizona Peace Officers Memorial, Korean War Memorial, Arizona Law Enforcement Canine Memorial, Operation Enduring Freedom Memorial, and Lt. Frank Luke Jr. Memorial,” DPS detailed in the statement.