Police fired tear gas from the windows of the Arizona Capitol building to disperse hundreds of people demonstrating outside Friday night, as lawmakers briefly huddled in a basement.
The lawmakers were working to complete their 2022 session as thousands of protesters gathered on the Capitol grounds in Phoenix on Friday night, divided into groups condemning and supporting the Supreme Court’s Roe v. Wade decision.
SWAT team members with the Department of Public Safety fired tear gas from the building to disperse the protesters.
KPHO-TV reported the officers opened fire when several anti-abortion protesters started banging on glass doors of the building.
The incident sent Senate lawmakers into the basement of the building for about 20 minutes, said Democratic Sen.
Martin Quezada. Stinging tear gas wafted through the Capitol afterward, forcing the Senate to move its proceedings to a hearing room instead of the Senate chamber.
Most carried signs, chanted slogans and listened to speeches.
The U.S. Supreme Court ends nearly 50 years o f constitutional protection for abortion.
Biden vows to fight for abortion rights, criticizes ‘extreme’ court.
Many states have already taken steps to curtail abortion.
Fears are voiced over possible rollback of LGBTQ and other rights.