Posted on January 18, 2005

2 Arrested in MLK Day Melee

David J. Cieslak, Arizona Republic (Phoenix), January 17, 2005

A series of minor brawls marred Monday’s Martin Luther King Jr. festivities in downtown Phoenix, prompting police to deploy pepper spray into crowds of people and forcing some area store owners to temporarily shut down their shops.

Police arrested two people for fighting during the melee, which started shortly after 4 p.m. as celebrations ended at Margaret Hance Park near Central Avenue and McDowell Road. No one was seriously injured in the fracas and no property was damaged, authorities said.

“Unfortunately we had a group of kids who don’t understand the meaning of today,” said Phoenix Assistant Police Chief Kevin Robinson, who supervised some 60 officers called to the scene during the incident. “Today of all days is to remember what Martin Luther King stood for.”