BULLHEAD CITY — City officials explained during Tuesday’s council meeting that Gov. Doug Ducey’s curfew is meant to be used as a tool to prevent violence, looting and vandalism instead of keeping people from living their lives.
Some residents questioned why a group of people near the intersection of Lakeside Drive and Hancock Road were allowed to protest police brutality after 8 p.m. on Monday. Ducey’s order established the curfew to occur between 8 p.m. and 5 a.m.
Other state and community leaders across the country also set curfews to prevent demonstrations from becoming violent — especially under the cover of darkness.
“We want to support law enforcement,” said City Manager Toby Cotter.
The killing on May 25 of George Floyd, a black man, by police in Minneapolis, Minnesota has sparked widespread outrage and protests, some of which have turned violent.
Video of the incident posted to social media shows an officer pressing his knee into Floyd’s neck as Floyd was on the ground and begging the officer to stop because he couldn’t breathe and was in pain.
Cotter asked the people in the council chamber this: “What we saw in Minneapolis is pretty sick, right?”
He went on to say that Bullhead City Police personnel “train.”
Cotter also said, “it’s clear everyone here loves our community” and that Bullhead City has “a history of being inclusive.”
Mayor Tom Brady said the city will focus on enforcing “the intent of the law.”
Brady also stated that the lawless acts occurring in other parts of the state and country that have surrounded some of the protests aren’t as likely to occur here.
When it comes to dealing with any curfew violations, said Brady, residents should let the city be concerned about enforcement of it “if the time comes.”
There were opposing groups protesting about the issue on Tuesday but Cotter also said there probably would be people doing more mundane things such as “playing pickleball” and “ordering pizza.”
“We support our rights under the Constitution. ... We support more than one protest on the street,” Cotter noted. “But we will not tolerate anything that’s not peaceful.”
Police Chief Brian Williamson was busy working and unable to attend the council meeting.
The curfew could end Monday morning unless Ducey extends it.
As a result of the increase in local cases of COVID-19 during the past two weeks, the city will add an employee
who will work with local long-term care facilities. This person will assist such businesses with finding ways to curb the spread of the virus.
“Hundreds of precious people are living in these facilities and we don’t want them to get sick,” Cotter stressed.
At least 21 local confirmed COVID-19 cases have occurred in two long-term care locations and the city doesn’t want to see that number continue its rapid increase, said Cotter.
The new employee will have a public health background and serve as a liaison between the long-term care providers and the city.
The state regulates such facilities but managers at these locations expressed willingness to cooperate with a city employee, according to Cotter.
Mohave County reported that, as of Tuesday, in the Bullhead City area there have been 107 confirmed cases of COVID-19 and five deaths.
In other business, the council members:
- Adopted the tentative city budget for the upcoming 2020-2021 fiscal year that begins July 1. Final adoption of the nearly $93.8 million spending plan is scheduled to occur at 5:30 p.m. June 16. Copies of the budget are on the city’s website, Bullheadcity.com.
- Approved modification of the lease between the city and the developer of the Holiday Inn Express under construction in the 1300 block of Silver Creek Road. The project no longer will be required to include an event center.