Rising tensions over alleged police brutality nationwide are forcing Tempe police to cancel a charity event scheduled this weekend. The “Run From the Cops 5-K” was hardly controversial when it began. But Lieutenant Mike Pooley says, in light of Ferguson and New York, the name may invite different interpretations contrary to the actual spirit of the event.

The race in unifies officers and members of the community as they run on behalf of victims of violent crime. In the past, money has been used for things such as plane fares for family members of murdered loved ones so they can attend court. But Pooley says, the run’s meaning has been obscured amid the anti-police clamor and Tempe Police doesn’t want to take any chances by allowing the weekend race to go ahead.

Pooley says the fundraiser is on hold until the volatile political climate simmers down. And he says, who knows when that will be.

–Barbara Villa