BULLHEAD CITY — Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey declared a state of emergency Sunday and announced a statewide, weeklong curfew after several nights of protests turned destructive and violent.
Ducey said in a statement that the curfew will be in effect from 8 p.m. to 5 a.m. daily until at least the early morning of June 8, and the emergency declaration “authorizes an expanded National Guard mobilization to protect life and property throughout the state.”
The governor also said police “will be equipped to make arrests of individuals who are planning to riot, loot or cause damage and unrest.”
Bullhead City Mayor Tom Brady issued a statement about the statewide curfew.
“We will enforce to the intent of the Governor’s Declaration,” Brady said.
“This does not impact the normal routines of our residents and visitors going about their daily business,” Brady also explained. “As the governor stated, this is an additional tool for law enforcement to prevent lawlessness as has been seen in cities across the country.”
The order states that during the overnight curfews hours “all persons are prohibited from using, standing, sitting, traveling or being present on any public street or in any public place, including for the purpose of travel...”
- All law enforcement, firefighters, paramedics or other medical personnel, National Guard, as well as any other emergency response personnel authorized by the State of Arizona, and credentialed members of the media.
- Individuals traveling directly to and from work; attending religious services; commercial trucking and delivery services; obtaining food; caring for a family member, friend, or animal; patronizing or operating private businesses; seeking medical care or fleeing dangerous circumstances; and travel for any of the above services.
- All forms of travel are included in the governor’s order and the phrase “public place” means “any place, whether on privately or publicly owned property, accessible to the general public, including but not limited to public streets and roads, alleys, highways, driveways, sidewalks, parks, vacant lots, and unsupervised property.”
“Exempt care” is necessary medical services for an individual’s self or family member.
Protests have erupted in U.S. cities in the days since 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 done to 18 buildings that Police Chief Jeri Williams said will cost hundreds of thousands of dollars to repair.
On Saturday night, people knelt with their hands up in the streets outside Phoenix police and municipal buildings, chanting, “Hands up, don’t shoot” and “Black lives matter.” Officers used flash-bang grenades to disperse the crowd.
Police said 114 people were arrested on suspicion of rioting and unlawful assembly with five also accused of aggravated assault on a police officer.
Seven juveniles were detained for curfew violations and charges of rioting and unlawful assembly, police said.
In Tucson, protesters damaged some downtown buildings and vandalized the city’s police station over two nights leading to a handful of arrests.
The upscale Phoenix suburb of Scottsdale was targeted by protesters for the first time Saturday night with some people smashing windows at a dozen stores in and around the city’s Fashion Square before grabbing goods.
Scottsdale police said in a statement that 12 people were arrested on various charges and “at least one assault has been reported and millions of dollars in damages and theft occurred.”
Volunteers used shovels and brooms Sunday to clean up broken glass at the damaged Scottsdale stores and covered windows with plywood boards.
“The looting and violence we saw last night, especially in Scottsdale, simply cannot be tolerated. And it won’t be,” Ducey said. “Destruction of property does not qualify as freedom of expression.”