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Black Lives Matter protest to shut down busy Phoenix intersection

PHOENIX – The very busy intersection of 24th Street and Camelback Road is expected to be shut down at 8 p.m. Friday night, because of a Black Lives Matter protest led by Rev. Jarrett Maupin. 

Maupin tells 12 News people could start showing up as early as 7 p.m. and he’s expecting around 300 to 400 people, based on social media response.

WHO: Rev. Jarrett Maupin

WHERE: 24th Street and Camelback Road. Intersection expected to be shut down.

WHEN: 8 p.m. Friday

The protest is one week after a march closed parts of Downtown Phoenix last Friday night. Tonight’s rally is in response to recent deadly shootings of black men by police officers across the country.

Tonight, Maupin says he hopes to shed light on what he calls “policy issues” with the City of Phoenix and what he feels is holding up progress making peace between police and the community.

Maupin has recently come under fire from some in the black community who have criticized his leadership, saying he does not represent Arizona’s Black Lives Matter movement. Maupin maintains that the turnout for his march shows he is a leader.

In a tweet, Maupin calls for tonight’s protest to be a non-violent sit-in. It reads, in part, “violent thugs or hate mongers – black or white – need not come. You’ll be arrested. Peace is power.”

Early Friday morning, there were blue ribbons and signs hung around the intersection, in support of police.

Employees at businesses in the area tell 12 News, management prepared them for the rally. They permitted employees whose tasks may take them outside, to work inside if they felt uncomfortable. A construction company nearby stopped working at 8 a.m., in case protesters started showing up.

Maupin was scheduled to talk with 12 News’ Jen Wahl, live on 12 Today at 6 a.m. Friday, but he never showed. We tried contacting him, but did not hear from him until 6:51 a.m.

Maupin says he was stuck downtown at a 5 a.m. meeting with police. When asked why he didn’t tell 12 News he wasn’t going to show up to the interview or why he didn’t respond to the phone call or text messages, he said he had bad reception and he couldn’t hang up on public safety calls.

Copyright 2016 KPNX

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