Sophia Dancel, an activist for people experiencing homelessness in Phoenix, was arrested by police on Wednesday.
Dancel was handing out food to people near 9th Avenue and Jackson Street during the city's latest cleanup sweep.
Police said they arrested Dancel for trespassing after she refused to leave the barricaded area.
She has been a regular presence in "The Zone" for several years and her group, Unsheltered Phoenix, runs a social media account that crowdsources help and supplies for people experiencing homelessness.
Dancel denies trespassing and says she was targeted by police.
The city and its police department are under a sweeping Department of Justice pattern or practice investigation.
The DOJ is investigating Phoenix for retaliating against protesters and for its treatment of those experiencing homelessness.
Dancel is facing charges of trespassing and resisting arrest.
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