A protest against police brutality Saturday night in downtown Phoenix ended with a clash with officers, the arrest of six protesters and the discharge of pepper-spray balls, officials said.

The march, which was organized by Wave of Action PHX, began around 8:30 p.m. with about 40 to 50 people gathered at Civic Space Park between Central and First avenues near Van Buren Street.

Though the march started peacefully, it almost immediately became a serious public nuisance and hazard when marchers entered the roadway and began obstructing traffic, Phoenix police spokesman Sgt. Jonathan Howard said.

The marchers were warned repeatedly to stay out of the roadway, but the majority of them disregarded the orders and continued to block traffic in the area, Howard said. They created additional hazards as they crossed against traffic signals near First and Washington streets.

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