Arizona Senate Republicans have said abortion rights protesters tried to enter the Arizona state Capitol on Friday evening as legislators were gathered on bills and proceedings were halted while the authorities handled the incident.
The official Twitter account of the Arizona Senate Republicans wrote that “pro-abortion protestors violently tried to enter our building” on Friday night but lawmakers were later able to resume their work.
“Members/staff/visitors evacuated to a secure location. Law enforcement intervened. Protestors dispersed. While the Senate is now secure & safe, unfortunately smoke/tear gas has spread into our chambers,” Senate Republicans said.
Public update: pro-abortion protestors violently tried to enter our building. Members/staff/visitors evacuated to a secure location. Law enforcement intervened. Protestors dispersed. While the Senate is now secure & safe, unfortunately smoke/tear gas has spread into our chambers.
— AZSenateRepublicans (@AZSenateGOP) June 25, 2022
The protest comes after the U.S. Supreme Court voted to overturn two landmark abortion rights decisions, 1973’s Roe v. Wade and 1992′ Planned Parenthood v. Casey on a decision released earlier on Friday.
A video shared to Twitter by Brahm Resnick of Arizona’s 12 News showed the state senate adjourning due a “security situation.” A separate video shared by 12 News’ Bianca Buono showed teargas being deployed outside the building.
Buono also shared a statement she attributed to the Arizona Department of Public Safety.
“Troopers deployed gas outside the Senate building after protesters attempted to break the glass. The crowd then moved to the Wesley Bolin Plaza where some monuments were vandalized. Gas was deployed again to disburse the crowd,” Arizona DPS said.
Arizona GOP Senator Kelly Townsend tweeted: “We are currently there being held hostage inside the Senate building due to members of the public trying to breach our security. We smell teargas 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 later posted an update saying, “Everyone is okay, and we are finishing our work.”
Newsweek has reached out to the Arizona Department of Public Safety for comment. This is a breaking news story and will be updated.
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