Arizona Faces 2nd Night Of Curfew Following Looting, Clashes

Jun 1, 2020

People in Arizona faced a second overnight curfew Monday after looting at high-end businesses and clashes between police and civilians over the weekend led Gov. Doug Ducey to crack down.

 

A man throws an object towards the Tucson Police Department during an early morning protest over the death of George Floyd, Sunday, May 31, 2020, in Tucson, Ariz. Protests were held throughout the country over the death of Floyd, a black man who died after being restrained by Minneapolis police officers on May 25.
Credit Josh Galemore/Arizona Daily Star via AP

Phoenix police arrested more than 200 people during demonstrations on Sunday, hours after the curfew went into effect. Those arrested are accused of rioting, unlawful assembly, disorderly conduct or curfew violations. At least 10 minors also were detained.

The arrests followed a peaceful protest that concluded as the curfew was set to take effect around 8 p.m. Some attendees left, while officers ordered those who stayed behind the disperse.

Officers wearing riot gear fired tear gas and fireworks at protesters about 9 p.m. as they walked toward Interstate 10, KPNX TV reported. It appeared several people were taken into custody by police, KPNX said.

Ducey announced Sunday afternoon that he was declaring a state of emergency, mobilizing the National Guard and imposing a curfew from 8 p.m. to 5 a.m. each night until June 8.

The curfew allows police to question and arrest anyone outside their home unless they’re visiting a business, traveling to and from work, attending religious services, seeking medical care, fleeing danger or caring for a person or animal.

Ducey said it was imposed “at the request of local leaders,” but his spokesman, Patrick Ptak, refused to say who requested it. The mayors of Phoenix and Tucson, which have been the sites of violent confrontations, said they had not discussed the issue with Ducey.

“I’m going to leave the governor’s conversations with individual leaders confidential,” Ptak said.

He said the curfew is “a tool for law enforcement to use if needed to address the looting, the rioting, the damage to property and people,” and he declared it a success.

“We saw that it was effective in dealing with some of that last night,” Ptak said.

Officials in the northeastern Arizona towns of Holbrook and Winslow wrote on Facebook that they didn’t face civil unrest and would not enforce Ducey’s curfew.

“We are neither Minneapolis nor Phoenix,” Winslow Mayor Thomas L. McCauley wrote. “We are Winslow, and we will not have our rights and our way of life in Winslow compromised by a ‘one size fits all’ regulation such as this latest order.”

Protests have erupted in U.S. cities and Europe in the days after the death of George Floyd, a black man who died May 25 after a white Minneapolis police officer pressed his knee on Floyd’s neck until he stopped breathing.

Phoenix’s first protest unfolded after a Friday vigil for Dion Johnson, a 28-year-old black man who was fatally shot during an encounter with a state trooper along a city freeway.

Downtown Phoenix has seen three consecutive nights of protests with damage to 18 buildings that Police Chief Jeri Williams said will cost hundreds of thousands of dollars to repair.

In Tucson, protesters damaged some downtown buildings and vandalized the city’s police station over two nights leading to a handful of arrests.

Scottsdale police reported millions of dollars in theft and property damage following Saturday night looting at the upscale Scottsdale Fashion Square mall and surrounding businesses. Police did not intervene for several hours, avoiding violent confrontations between authorities and looters.