Metro Phoenix protesters return downtown for 8th consecutive day
PHOENIX — Metro Phoenix protesters returned to the streets for the eighth consecutive day on Thursday in response to the deaths of George Floyd in Minnesota and Dion Johnson in Phoenix.
Earlier on Thursday, Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey made his first public remarks regarding the death of Floyd.
“It’s an American tragedy. It should be condemned by leaders at every level,” Ducey said during a press conference. “In Arizona, we will listen to those that want to have a civil discourse to ensure that it never happens again in the United States of America.”
The Phoenix Police Department released additional information on the death of Johnson, 28, who was fatally shot by an Arizona Department of Public Safety trooper on the same day Floyd was killed.
Since Sunday night, Phoenix police have made zero arrests in connection to downtown area demonstrations.
Protesters began to disperse peacefully as the curfew took effect, according to Gamiño.
The demonstrators also announced their plans to resume marching on Friday at 5 p.m.
The Phoenix Police Department announced to protesters that the curfew was impending, thereby leaving any remaining protesters subject to arrest.
Organizers reminded protesters to be mindful of the time ahead of the statewide curfew being implemented.
Protesters temporarily stopped their march at the intersection of First Avenue and Jefferson Street for 8 minutes and 46 seconds of silent reflection on the life of George Floyd, Gamiño reported.
Protesters marched passed Phoenix police officers quipped with riot gear as they made their way beyond the Burton Barr Central Library, according to Gamiño.
Protesters called for the budget of the Phoenix Police Department to be reduced by 25%, Gamiño reported.
As the march came to another temporary halt, protesters could be heard calling tear gas a “war crime,” calling for the demilitarization of police departments and their desire for increased funds for public education, according to Kinnerup.
Protesters temporarily halted their march at the intersection of First Avenue and Van Buren Street where they knelt and called for addition mental health resources to be made available to law enforcement personnel, Kinnerup reported.
Protesters began marching along First Avenue, according to Gamiño.
Outside of Phoenix City Hall, protest leaders could be heard calling on the crowd to remain peaceful throughout the evening, according to to KTAR News 92.3 FM’s Taylor Kinnerup.
As the crowd grew in size across the Street from Phoenix City Hall, Gamiño reported an organizer could be heard encouraging the crowd and advising them to support each other.
Roughly 50 protesters could be seen gathered across the street from Phoenix City hall, according to KTAR News 92.3 FM’s Gabriel Gamiño.
Valley Metro announced there would be no rail service in the downtown area due to the scheduled protests.
Phoenix Protest Live announced plans for protesters to gather at Phoenix City Hall at 5 p.m. before marching primarily along First and Central avenues. The demonstration was scheduled to conclude at 7:50 p.m. — ten minutes before the statewide curfew takes effect.
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