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'Someone's got to do it': Crews, citizens cleaning up downtown Phoenix after protest turns destructive

The Sandra Day O'Connor Courthouse, Phoenix Municipal Courthouse, Arizona Federal Theatre, Chase Bank building and some other smaller shops all had smashed glass.

PHOENIX — Protests continued in downtown Phoenix Friday night after people marched Thursday night over the death of George Floyd in Minnesota. Friday, the focus shifted to Dion Johnson, shot and killed by a DPS Trooper in an incident on Memorial Day. 

Police used flashbangs and tear gas on protestors in front of the Phoenix Police Department building Friday night. These measures were deployed after a firework went off and hit the building. Many protesters remained peaceful, but some were throwing objects at police. Just before 11 p.m., some protesters resorted to destruction.

The Sandra Day O'Connor Federal Courthouse, the Phoenix Municipal Courthouse, the Arizona Federal Theatre, Chase Bank and some other smaller shops all had windows and doors smashed.  

Clean-up crews were out at dawn, working to make repairs and secure buildings.

Phoenix Public Works were out trying to pressure-wash spray paint, a lot of the words profane.

"I don’t believe in causing damage," said Margo Gonzalez.

She and her friend, compelled by the chaos, were out picking up the protest pieces.

"It’s your right to protest, but it’s not your right to break other people’s property."

They work downtown and say the pandemic closures already packed one punch.

"It hurts their bottom line but it hurts us, too."

As she and her friend walk around with trash bags, some work crews are working to restore the damage. For the second morning in a row, broken glass is being replaced on the front doors of Phoenix Police HQ.

Some staff at other buildings say they're opting to secure the damage and wait for repairs until the unrest rests for good.

Margo just hopes she can lead by example.

"You just got to pick it up," she said. "Someone’s got to do it."


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