After a weekend of arson and looting, Gov. Doug Ducey ordered a statewide 8 p.m. curfew through June 8.
Cities around the country have had riots from those protesting the death of George Floyd. Chilling video shows a Minneapolis police officer kneeling on Floyd’s neck as the man struggles for breath.
While the Scottsdale Fashion Square Mall was looted and hundreds were arrested for rioting in Downtown Phoenix over the weekend, there were no reports of mass demonstrations or group unlawfulness in the West Valley.
On the first night of the curfew, which went into effect May 31, “The Goodyear Police Department was very well staffed, and it was quiet in Goodyear with no curfew or rioting-related arrests,” said Lisa Berry, a Goodyear Police spokeswoman.
“The Goodyear Police Department is prepared, aware of and monitoring threats, and actively working together with law enforcement agencies across the Valley to ensure public safety.”
In Avondale, it was business as usual as well on the first night of the curfew.
“Our officers will take steps to inform our citizens of the curfew in place in order to gain compliance,” said Pier Simeri, a spokeswoman for Avondale.
“The Avondale Police Department will respond to calls for service as normal.”
Though there were no disturbances in Buckeye, the city’s police department has extra personnel on duty, said Donna Rossi, a Buckeye Police spokeswoman.
“We ask that everyone voluntarily obey the curfew,” she said.
A notice on the Buckeye Police Facebook page said, “Thankfully, Buckeye is not experiencing any disturbances, and we have no information or intel that our city will be the target of any protests.”
Though people are not permitted to be “present on any public street or in any public place” between 8 p.m. and 5 a.m., Ducey’s order is far from a “lockdown.”
Going to work or even to a restaurant is permitted.
According to the order, medical personnel and credentialed members of the media are permitted to be in public, as are those “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.”
The definition of travel includes walking, biking, skateboarding, driving a car, and public transit.
“The looting and violence we saw last night (May 30), especially in Scottsdale, simply cannot be tolerated,’’ Ducey said.
“Destruction of property does not qualify as freedom of expression.’’
The order was taken under the same laws which Ducey said gave him the authority to issue a “stay-at-home’’ order and restrict business operations due to COVID-19. Violations are a Class 1 misdemeanor, carrying up to six months in jail and a $2,500 fine—aside from any other charges that might be leveled against those arrested.
In issuing the order, Ducey said in a Twitter post that it “gives law enforcement an additional tool to prevent the lawlessness we have seen here and in cities nationwide.”
“Police will be equipped to make arrests of individuals who are planning to riot, loot or cause damage and unrest,’’ the governor said.
Scottsdale police said “millions of damages and theft” occurred in violence and looting May 30 at the Fashion Square mall and nearby businesses. Police said 12 were arrested.
And 114 were arrested in Phoenix during protests on Saturday.
The governor said he was acting “at the request of local leaders and in coordination with state and local law enforcement.”
Annie DeGraw, aide to Phoenix Mayor Kate Gallego, said her boss also was kept in the dark.
“We learned on Twitter along with the rest of the world,’’ she said.
“We have not had any discussions with him about a curfew. We have not had any discussions with him about protests,’’ DeGraw said. “We have not had any discussions with him about pretty much anything in many months.”
Capitol Media Services contributed to this story.