Curfew Invoked For Second Consecutive Night In Downtown Spokane
For the second consecutive night, Mayor Nadine Woodward declared a curfew for downtown Spokane.
“We are following a situation in Riverfront Park by the Red Wagon where it has been going on for several hours," Woodward said during a late evening virtual press conference. "A group of unruly people, the size of about 70 people, fighting amongst themselves, throwing rocks at cars going by on Spokane Falls Boulevard," she said.
The curfew went into effect at 8:15 pm. Police worked to control the situation. Woodward says officers were trying to get out in front of things before people could begin attacking and looting businesses and spraying graffiti.
Police Chief Craig Meidl says officers saw several people walking on arterials, yelling at traffic. Some, he says, were wearing body armor and carrying weapons such as baseball bats and machetes.
A person with the handle Let the Goat Out tweeted that he or she saw one person with a golf club approach the group in an aggressive manner and the protestors de-escalated the situation.
Sheriff Ozzie Knezovich told reporters Monday the African-American community should not be blamed for last night’s events. He puts the focus on outside agitators.
“There’s a lot of reporters that have contacted me this morning. Are you sure it was Antifa? I’m going to give you one definitive answer. It was yes," Knezovich said. "How do we know? We had police officers on the ground watch people with Antifa t-shirts, people that were self proclaiming themselves to be Antifa.”
Knezovich says members of groups from the other side, the Proud Boys and the Three-Percenters, were also there. He said there were less than a handful of Proud Boys.
“The Three-Percenters that were down and carrying their AR-15s, they…and when I talked to Chief Meidl, he said, the thing about them, when we contacted them and told them to leave, they left," he said.
Knezovich says he will encourage the county to file civil lawsuits against the groups responsible for sending members to Spokane.
Meidl says his officers arrested about 15 people Sunday night.