Jul 29, 2010 7:11 PM
TUCSON - A protest in downtown Tucson against Arizona's new illegal immigraiton law turned into a crime scene Thursday afternoon, as demonstrators in the intersection of Congress Sreet and Grenada Avenue were handcuffed and led away by Tucson Police officers.
The protest began Thursday morning, with organizers carrying signs condemning SB1070, the law which had many of its more controversial elements blocked from enforcement by a federal court judge Wednesday.
Until about 4 p.m., protesters kept mainly to legal areas for protest: sidewalks and public property. Soon after 4 p.m., protesters began to march into the intersection outside the federal courthouse, according to a TPD official.
News4 crews arrived in time to see TPD officers in riot gear arresting demonstrators one-by-one with riot cuffs. Officers then established a perimeter around the intersection, forcing protesters back onto the sidewalks and out of the intersection.
In all, 13 people were arrested and eventually released, most charged with a misdemenor charge of unruly gathering, according to TPD. By about 5:45 p.m., traffic began flowing normally along both streets, and protesters began to disperse. Tucson Police estimated that there were as many as 250 to 300 people at the scene at one time.