KINGMAN — Protesters knelt in prayer to close a 12-hour demonstration Tuesday in Kingman, an event held under the watchful eyes of Arizona National Guardsmen and personnel from the Mohave County Sheriff’s Office and Kingman Police Department.

No major incidents were reported, although one person was arrested on suspicion of pointing a weapon at protesters as he drove by Locomotive Park in downtown Kingman. Kingman Police Lt. Joel Freed said the man drove by and pointed what appeared to be an AR-15 rifle out the driver’s side window. Freed said five protesters witnessed the threat and summoned police, who stopped the vehicle about a quarter-mile from the site. A man, who was not identified, was arrested on suspicion of aggravated assault.

“We knew that we were going to get hate. Everybody gets hate for fighting for what they believe in,” said organizer Shai Weaver, an 18-year-old from Kingman. “We had posted that if there were anti-protesters here, they have every right to a civil, peaceful protest as we do. But we would like to shout down all the rumors of us being affiliated with any radical groups.

“Our movement here is titled ‘Black Lives Matter,’ but we are not affiliated with the Black Lives Matter organization. Naysha (Powell) and I are locals. I grew up in this town and went to high school here. I represented this city in New York City with a Broadway internship that I had when I was 16 so, no, we are not here to cause violence. We are not here to loot and we are not here to riot.”

People milled in and out of the park, some there to join the line that waved placards and chanted in a peaceful protest and others there to watch the event to record it for their personal history. 

Arizona National Guard troops, who arrived in Kingman by helicopter earlier in the day, joined more than a dozen officers and detectives, watching the demonstration from a distance. Also watching were armed members of the Arizona Patriots. The National Guard was there at the invitation of Kingman Police Chief Rusty Cooper. Freed said the Guard troops were there to support local officers to ensure peace and to promote public safety.

About 900 Guardsmen have been activated statewide; spokesman Maj. Aaron Thacker said he could not comment on the number of troops sent to Kingman.

Thacker said their first mission and priority is to ensure peaceful assembly and free speech and engage disruption or threat of those Constitutional rights if necessary. He said local officers will handle any incidents and that Guard members were there to free them up to handle whatever arises.

The protestors broke up around 7 p.m. — well before the statewide 8 p.m. curfew imposed by Gov. Doug Ducey. Weaver earlier had said that demonstrations are planned Friday and Saturday in Kingman. It wasn’t known whether the National Guard will be in attendance at either of those events.

(10) comments

gonzoman

The story states demonstrators kneeling on one knee to pray, uh I don't think thats the standard praying position but rather a protest against our flag and form of government. The National Guard show of force at this peaceful stage is an outstanding idea, and while I'm sure most protesters there intend peace, you can bet word got back to outside/inside radicals that AZ is not a soft target like other states where N-Guard still not deployed dispute some burning cities.

BRAVO-ZULU to the Govenor and supporting local leaders in support of pre-deployed National Guard.

Desert Bat

"forces" need to be deployed to the nation's schools, so that these young people grow up with a better understanding of the real world and how to achieve their place in it.

DETOUR > US 66

Yep that's what the schools need, the Getapo overseeing and monitoring them. Go straight from socialism to fascism. You far right wingers are as bad as the far left wingers. Maybe both of your GANGS should just converge in Death Valley and fight it out....

pete

I agree 100%..

DETOUR > US 66

This was an outrageous "show of force" by the National Guard considering the town and the event. NEWSFLASH: This is Kingman AZ. a sleepy little old town in the desert wand this "protest group" was mostly women and kids with ZERO Antifa or any other "rioter" types seen anywhere in town. Nice going GESTAPO forces. Next time you jackbooters might want to go somewhere you are actually needed like Los Angeles or even Las Vegas.

Uheardme

I don’t think they are needed anywhere for any reason.

Michael 777

"Protest against our flag?". What the Hell are you talking about? It was a peaceful Black Lives Matter protest.

DC1346

I think it's hypocritical for the police to have allowed heavily armed white protestors to storm state capitols across the country in support of ending the Covid-19 shutdowns while at the same time, unarmed peaceful protestors have been tazed, clubbed, shot with rubber bullets , and hit with pepper spray or tear gas.

What about the two black college students in Atlanta who had the windows of their car smashed before they were tazed prior to being dragged out of their vehicle? What about the black CNN reporter and his camera crew in Minneapolis who were arrested by the police even though a white CNN reporter on the other side of the street was left alone? Why did another reporter lose her eye to a rubber bullet that hit her face? Why was an Australian crew body slammed with shields?

There is a huge disconnect in this country between how whites are treated and how minorities are treated. As a person of color, I'm just old enough to remember the old Jim Crow laws of the deep south. I remember when the first McDonald's opened in Atlanta, Georgia. My father was a serving officer in the U.S. military. After work he took our family to McDonald's. He was dressed in his class A uniform but since seating was for whites only, the manager told us that we weren't allowed to dine with the white patrons.

My father was allowed serve this country. He served during both the Korean and the Vietnam wars but because we weren't white, we weren't allowed to eat in the dining area.

I've been spat upon by white people. I've been called racist names. I've been the butt of racist jokes. When I was in high school, I was mobbed and beaten unconscious in a stairwell. The principal told my father that "Boys will be boys" and there were no consequences.

I've had job applications ripped in half and tossed into a trash can because the white HR secretary sneered and said, "We don't hire 'your kind' here." I've been denied service at a restaurant. I've been turned away from a motel that had no rooms even though the while people behind me in line were able to get a room even though they didn't have a reservation.

It doesn't matter that as an adult, I hold three college degrees and am part of the middle class. Some people just can't see past the color of my skin.

Enough is enough. Black lives matter! This is not to say that other lives don't matter but the reality is that black people and other minorities are more likely to be shot and killed or beaten, pepper sprayed, or tazed by the police.

According to the Washington Post, while blacks only comprise 13% of this country, half of all police shootings involve black people.

According to the Stanford Open Policing Project, blacks and other minorities are more likely to be stopped by the police than white people.

George Floyd died because he was restrained by four officers and one knelt on his neck for nine minutes until he suffocated.

Breonna Taylor, an EMT in Kentucky was shot and killed in her own home when the police kicked in her door while serving a search warrant even thought the two people named in the warrant had already been arrested and were in police custody.

Ahmaud Arbery was shot and killed by two white vigilantes in Georgia while he was out jogging because they thought he was a thief. He wasn't.

There is a double standard in this country and despite the provisions of the Civil Rights Act which was enacted in 1964, we still have issues with racial inequality in this country.

Most of the people who have been protesting aren't trying to cause problems. They're simply asking for the same rights that white people have long taken for granted. They want equal protection under the law. They want an end to police brutality and institutional racism.

DETOUR > US 66

DC1346: "Most of the people who have been protesting aren't trying to cause problems. They're simply asking for the same rights that white people have long taken for granted. They want equal protection under the law. They want an end to police brutality and institutional racism." Absolutely agree sir. First of all, the "protesters" need to be separated from the "rioters." The "protesters" should be allowed to voice their concerns in public areas in a Constitutionally protected manner. The "rioters" should be allowed to go home and stay there until they decide to not act like criminals. Secondly, the City Councils/Mayors of cities need to quit taking money and resources away from the police to fund more welfare programs. Thirdly, the police depts. need to get rid of the unions that protect bad cops and train their officers to do their job which is "protect AND serve" everyone equally. That would be a good start in my opinion.

Justwhistle

Thank you for your beautifully articulated and heartfelt words and for sharing your invaluable insight and painful emotional experiences. This country has so much to atone for. I pray with all my might that this incredible moment in time keeps moving forward forever and continues to build and build until all people of this country are treated with the utmost human respect, equality, decency, opportunity, love and worth. I am so sad that so many people have had to pay such a devastating price for us to get to this point but I am so happy that we are here. I feel so hopeful and am so thankful to see our country rising up, coming together and fighting however they can, for equality, justice and God given human rights. My prayer is for every person to unlearn the prejudices which they have been taught and to love each other equally. I’m so sorry for every hurtful and unjust experience you have ever had to suffer because of prejudice. It makes me cry to read this and to feel ashamed of my white skin. I stand with you in changing our country and ending police brutality and institutional racism in our country. BLACK LIVES MATTER!

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