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Protest in downtown Phoenix Saturday night declared unlawful assembly


PHOENIX — Protesters returned to the streets of downtown Phoenix on Saturday for a third consecutive night.

Around 10:30 p.m., Phoenix police declared an unlawful assembly.

Just before that, loud bang sounds were heard after five hours of a mostly peaceful protest.

The protests come in response to Monday’s deaths of Minnesotan George Floyd and Arizonan Dion Johnson at the hands of law enforcement.

Scottsdale also declared an unlawful assembly after a group of people damaged businesses in the area.

The group of protesters gathered at Phoenix City Hall with temperatures hovering around 100 degrees.

Protestors began marching west chanting “no justice, no peace” around 8:30 p.m.

The Phoenix Police Department asked the crowd to disperse just after 9 p.m.

Gov. Doug Ducey tweeted just before 8 p.m. that the Arizona National Guard would be helping Phoenix Police and the Arizona departments of public safety and transportation.

Buildings around Phoenix were damaged again on Saturday night, as Talking Stick Resort arena and other local businesses were spray-painted.

On Friday, The Arizona Federal Theatre, FOX10 and other surrounding buildings being vandalized with graffiti, paint and broken windows.

Eight Police vehicles also had the windows smashed and or tires slashed.

Due to criminal activity and danger to the community, the Phoenix Police declared an unlawful assembly just before 11 p.m. on Friday.

The damage from Friday cost the city hundreds of thousands of dollars, according to Police Chief Jerri Williams.

Mayor Kate Gallego, Williams and other City of Phoenix officials held a press conference on Saturday afternoon attempting to prevent a repeat of Friday and warn people that violent protestors will not be tolerated.

“Be clear,” Williams said. “As we defend the rights of demonstrators to share their message, we will not tolerate criminal activity.”

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