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Arizona Law Enforcement Strategies Vary Amid Statewide Protests

Ross D. Franklin/AP

Gov. Doug Ducey’s statewide curfew has been in effect for two nights following protests in Phoenix and across the country that have included clashes with police and looting.

Phoenix Police have strictly enforced the order and 200 people were arrested Sunday as they demonstrated against police brutality after the death last week of George Floyd while in Minneapolis police custody.

Police departments and county sheriff’s offices in rural Arizona, however, have chosen alternative strategies regarding the governor’s order. Police in Holbrook, Winslow and Williams, as well as the Navajo County Sheriff’s Office and some other law enforcement agencies, say they won’t enforce it.

Some officials say they haven’t seen the types of civil unrest that larger cities have experienced and the curfew is unneeded.

According to the Coconino County Sheriff’s Office, they’re enforcing the curfew on a case-by-case basis. The Flagstaff Police Department didn’t specifically say whether officers are enforcing Ducey’s order. But a spokesperson for the department says it’s working to ensure public safety and hasn’t seen any violence or property damage associated with the protests.

Ryan Heinsius joined the KNAU newsroom as executive producer in 2013 and was named news director and managing editor in 2024. As a reporter, he has covered a broad range of stories from local, state and tribal politics to education, economy, energy and public lands issues, and frequently interviews internationally known and regional musicians. Ryan is an Edward R. Murrow Award winner and a Public Media Journalists Association Award winner, and a frequent contributor to NPR's Morning Edition, All Things Considered and national newscast.
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