Americans nationwide have expressed anger and frustration over the continued deaths of black people at the hands of police, particularly the May 25 death of George Floyd, 46, in Minneapolis. But local outrage also has focused on Dion Johnson, 28, who was shot to death the same day by an Arizona Department of Public Safety officer who had found him asleep in his car in north Phoenix.
Phoenix Mayor Kate Gallego, noting that issues involving race and police have been ignored for years, said the majority of people who gathered in Phoenix to grieve and protest did so peacefully. But as protests turned violent, police used tear gas, smoke bombs, flash and concussion grenades, pepper spray and rubber bullets on demonstrators each night.
On Thursday, protesters gathered in downtown Phoenix streets for hours before police declared it an unlawful assembly. Hundreds remained on the streets at the time and arrested eight adults.
On Friday evening, protesters held a vigil for Dion Johnson, which turned into a march to Phoenix police headquarters. The DPS officer who shot Johnson was not equipped with a body or dash camera, and Johnson's family has asked for more information about his death. Protesters later damaged 18 properties – shattering doors and windows, spraying graffiti on walls, according to police.
On Saturday, Phoenix officials warned protesters that police would take swift action if demonstrations turned criminal. Protests remained largely peaceful until nightfall, when police fired rubber bullets and tear gas into the crowd. Police arrested 114 people.
On Sunday, Gov. Doug Ducey issued a statewide declaration of emergency, setting an 8 p.m. to 5 a.m. curfew that started Sunday and runs until June 8. Phoenix police arrested hundreds of people Sunday night.
Monday’s demonstration ended peacefully soon after the 8 p.m. curfew took effect. Hundreds remained on the streets, however, and police arrested eight people.
As protests and the curfew continue this week, this gallery may be updated.