Ducey ends statewide curfew, praises peaceful protests




protest george floyd June 4
Protesters march down Central Avenue on June 4, 2020, as part of nationwide demonstrations against police violence sparked by the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis. Photo by Jeremy Duda | Arizona Mirror

Gov. Doug Ducey won’t extend the curfew he imposed a week ago in response to looting at Scottsdale Fashion Square Mall.

The curfew, which required most Arizonans to remain in their homes from 8 p.m. to 5 a.m. each night for the past week, expired Monday morning. 

While the curfew was ostensibly in response to the looting in Scottsdale, the practical effect has been to force protesters off the street by 8 p.m. Protesters have marched in Phoenix and other cities for the past 11 nights in response to Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin’s killing of George Floyd, an unarmed black man, as well as other deaths, including an Arizona Department of Public Safety trooper’s fatal shooting of 28-year-old Dion Johnson on Memorial Day.

The first nights of protests included broken windows and other acts of vandalism. Those provoked aggressive responses by the Phoenix Police Department, including using tear gas and pepper spray against demonstrators. But Phoenix police haven’t arrested any protesters over the past seven nights and the marches remained peaceful, breaking up by the time the curfew went into effect.

In a statement on Twitter, Ducey thanked both the peaceful protesters and law enforcement officers who have been on the streets for the past week, noting, “Arizona has avoided much of the violence we’ve seen in other states and large metro areas.”

“For the past 8 days, we’ve seen Arizonans exercise their Constitutional Rights in a peaceful manner. With this approach, Arizona can continue to be a good example of how First Amendment rights and public safety will be prioritized,” Ducey said.

Government officials have enacted curfews across the country in response to nationwide protests, which in many places have features rioting and looting. But Ducey is the only governor to impose a statewide curfew.

Some critics have questioned the necessity of Ducey’s curfew. He cited incidents in places such as Prescott Valley and Yuma to justify imposing his curfew on a statewide basis, and said he enacted the curfew at the request of local leaders. But his administration has not named any mayors or other local leaders who requested a curfew, despite repeated questions from the media.