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Detention of men prompts immigration protest

Tucson Police Department officers use pepper spray to force protesters back onto the sidewalk Tuedsday, Oct. 8, 2013, in Tucson, Ariz. Tucson police used pepper spray to help disperse some of the more than 100 people protesting the detention of two immigrants who had been detained after a traffic stop. (AP Photo/Arizona Daily Star, Perla Trevizo)

Tucson Police Department officers use pepper spray to force protesters back onto the sidewalk Tuedsday, Oct. 8, 2013, in Tucson, Ariz. Tucson police used pepper spray to help disperse some of the more than 100 people protesting the detention of two immigrants who had been detained after a traffic stop. (AP Photo/Arizona Daily Star, Perla Trevizo)

Tucson’s police chief says officers were following the law during a traffic stop of two immigrants that turned into a heated protest.

Police Chief Roberto Villasenor said Wednesday officers must notify the U.S. Border Patrol when they come across immigrants who can’t produce legal ID.

Tucson police used pepper spray Tuesday evening to disperse some of the more than 100 people protesting.

Sgt. Maria Hawke says the impromptu confrontation occurred when a crowd gathered at the scene.

She said police pulled over a car because it had no license plate light. Border Patrol was then called when officers learned the occupants were in the country illegally.

The Border Patrol agents took both into custody, and the crowd dispersed.

Immigrant groups say the law doesn’t require police to call Border Patrol.

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