Despite calls from city leaders for calm, hundreds of protesters marched through downtown Phoenix on Friday night in response to a recent spate of police shootings across the country.

In the aftermath of an attack in Dallas that left five police officers dead Thursday, Phoenix police and Mayor Greg Stanton asked that organizers postpone demonstrations here in the Valley.

“The Chief and myself and many others have suggested that this is not a good idea to have this protest tonight for both community safety as well as officer safety,” Stanton said at a press conference Friday afternoon.

But several hundred protesters showed up at Phoenix City Hall on Friday evening despite those suggestions.

Protester Dallas Diaz was not deterred by warnings of security concerns.

“Being silent – that’s a safety concern,” Diaz said as she handed out candles to protesters with her brother. “It’s important to show we’re not afraid.”

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