MLB All-Star Immigration Protests Not Expected, Phoenix Police Chief Says

When Arizona passed the SB-1070 immigration law, one question raised was the impact on the 2011 MLB All-Star Game in Phoenix. Some players threatened to boycott the game and there was the very real possibility of major protests interrupting the event.

Joseph Yahner, Acting Police Chief, Phoenix Police Department, spoke at a press conference Wednesday and answered questions about the preparation for immigration-related protests.

"We've not heard of any major planned events," Yahner told SB Nation Arizona. "There's always a little bit of protest at Diamondbacks games."

The Phoenix Police has close ties to the various opposition groups and according to Yahner, his department and those opposed to Arizona's immigration law have worked well together in the past. The Phoenix Police will have uniformed and plain clothes officers in the crowd to monitor the situation and Yahner seemed confident that there would be no problems.

"If you've seen some of the other protests, we do them well. We've done it before and we'll handle it in the same manner. We'll ensure everybody has their rights protected and we'll ensure the safety and security of the community. That will be our goal." 

There are currently no plans to designate a specific protest area but Yahner said that could happen if the situation changes in the days leading up to the All-Star festivities which run July 8 to July 12.

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