Phoenix buildings, police vehicles damaged during George Floyd protests

May 30, 2020, 2:05 PM | Updated: 3:07 pm
(KTAR News/Tyler Bassett)...
(KTAR News/Tyler Bassett)
(KTAR News/Tyler Bassett)

PHOENIX — Protesters took to the streets of Phoenix late Friday night in response to the killing of George Floyd while in police custody in Minneapolis earlier this week.

The protests started around 9 p.m., shortly after a vigil for Dion Johnson, a man Black Lives Matter of Metro Phoenix say was killed by a Department of Public Safety Officer on May 25, concluded.

While the group urged those in attendance to go home after the vigil, many began walking through downtown before reaching the Phoenix police headquarters. Police officers ordered the protesters to disperse soon after arriving to the headquarters.

Protesters held their ground, however, with some escalating the situation by throwing water bottles at the officers behind the barricades in riot gear. Other protesters kneeled on the ground and linked arms.

Just before 11 p.m., Phoenix Police declared an unlawful assembly due to criminal activity and a current danger to the community.

As protesters remained on the Phoenix streets beyond the unlawful assembly declaration, police began firing nonlethal rounds into the air, while dispersing smoke bombs into the crowd. Shortly after, a police line started, ushering protesters away from the police headquarters.

Across the street from the headquarters, protesters continued to escalate the situation around midnight, vandalizing the Sandra Day O’Connor U.S. Courthouse with anti-police graffiti and smashing the front windows.

The Arizona Federal Theatre, FOX10 and other surrounding buildings were also vandalized with graffiti, paint and broken windows. Some of the graffiti read “burn down the city tomorrow will be flames.”

According to Phoenix police, there were no injuries reported but at least eight police officers were assaulted by objects that were thrown at them.

Two men were arrested during the protests.

Michael Lane, 44, was arrested for rioting, criminal damage and unlawful assembly and refusal to disperse. He admitted to breaking the window of a police vehicle during Thursday’s protests and throwing a bottle Friday.

Andrew Givens, 36, was arrested for for aggravated assault on a police officer, unlawful assembly and refusal to disperse, resisting arrest and possession of narcotic drugs.

Both men were booked into Maricopa County jail.

“In Arizona, we will always respect the 1st Amendment rights of citizens to peacefully assemble and make their voices heard,” Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey said in a tweet Saturday morning. “We will not, however, tolerate rioting, looting, violence, destruction of property or any behavior that endangers the safety or rights of others.”

It marked the second night of protests in Phoenix after a white officer pressed a knee into Floyd’s neck while taking him into custody in Minnesota on May 25. The officer, Derek Chauvin, involved in the incident was arrested late Friday morning and charged with third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter. All four officers on scene were fired.

In addition to the protests in Phoenix, Tucson, Denver, Las Vegas, Los Angeles and other cities across the country saw thousands of protesters who carried signs that said: “He said I can’t breathe. Justice for George.” They chanted “No justice, no peace” and “Say his name. George Floyd.”

Protesters gathered outside the White House, with President Donald Trump inside, with some trying to push through the barriers set up by the U.S. Secret Service along Pennsylvania Avenue.

Elsewhere, Georgia’s governor declared a state of emergency in one county to activate up to 500 members of the state National Guard “to protect people & property in Atlanta.”

Gov. Brian Kemp said in a pair of tweets early Saturday that the move came at the request of Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms and in consultation with emergency officials.

KTAR News’ Taylor Kinnerup and The Associated Press contributed to this report.

We want to hear from you.

Have a story idea or tip? Pass it along to the KTAR News team here.

Arizona News

A nurse puts a used syringe into a box at an Italian Red Cross anti COVID-19 vaccination hub, in Ro...

Arizona adds under 2,000 COVID-19 cases for first time this month

Arizona on Monday reported fewer than 2,000 new COVID-19 cases for the first time this month, but hospital numbers remained at their highest levels since last winter.
11 hours ago
(Sunrise Park Resort screenshot)...

Sunrise Park Resort to open for 2021-22 winter season next week

Sunrise Park Resort announced Sunday it plans to open the 2021-22 winter season on Dec. 10, a week later than the projected date.
11 hours ago
(File photo by Brandon Bell/Getty Images)...

Arizona ranked as one of the least charitable states, per WalletHub

It's the season of giving but a personal finance website ranked Arizona as one of the least charitable states in the country.
11 hours ago
(City of Chandler Photo)...

Tumbleweed Tree lighting, Parade of Lights to take place this weekend in Chandler

An East Valley holiday tradition is back in-person this year as event organizers prepare for the 65th annual Tumbleweed Tree lighting and the Parade of Lights on Saturday.
11 hours ago
(Photo by Ben Hasty/MediaNews Group/Reading Eagle via Getty Images)...
Associated Press

Flagstaff pauses construction of USGS facilities over rising costs

The city of Flagstaff is hitting pause on the construction of new buildings in partnership with the U.S. Geological Survey because of soaring costs.
11 hours ago
Americans are expected to spend an average of $886 on gifts this holiday season. Spending in Arizon...

It’s beginning to look a lot like a post-COVID Christmas for vendors

In the second holiday season of the pandemic era, goods may cost more, but Americans have more money to spend – and they appear to be eager to spend it.
11 hours ago

Sponsored Articles


Thyroid issues: Here are the warning signs and what to do

In a 100-person office in the United States, an estimated 12 co-workers, employees and loved ones, will likely develop a thyroid condition during their lifetime. That’s because, according to the American Thyroid Association, more than 12% of the U.S. population will experience thyroid issues.
Day & Night Air Conditioning, Heating and Plumbing

Why fall maintenance is important for your heating system and A/C

It’s easy to ignore your heater and air conditioner when they’re working but the moment something breaks, you will likely regret not keeping up with maintenance. After all, if something goes wrong, you may be stuck with a repair that will take longer and be more expensive than simple maintenance.
PNC Bank

3 cool tips to turn everyday moments into learning experiences for your child

Early brain development has a crucial impact on a child’s ability to learn and succeed in school and life. Research has shown that 90% of a child’s brain is developed by age five.
Phoenix buildings, police vehicles damaged during George Floyd protests