The damage left by rioters at the Arizona State Capitol Complex on Friday, is more extensive than originally believed. Significant criminal damage impacted the Wesley Bolin Memorial Amphitheatre, 158th Regimental Memorial, Arizona Peace Officers Memorial, Korean War Memorial, Arizona Law Enforcement Canine Memorial, Operation Enduring Freedom Memorial, and Lt. Frank Luke Jr. Memorial.
So I needed to come down and see for myself with my own eyes what they have done to our memorials.I wish I could describe the deep anger, but I will just say that it is one of those things you set aside and move forward because we are winning. #J24 pic.twitter.com/OzrriW6Lns
— Senator Kelly Townsend 🇺🇸 (@AZKellyT) June 25, 2022
What began as a peaceful protest evolved into anarchical and criminal actions by masses of splinter groups. As groups realized the state legislature was in session, they attempted to breach the doors of the Arizona Senate and force their way into the building. The violence of their efforts literally shook the building and terrified citizens and law makers who occupied the building. As the glass doors bowed from attempts of forced entry, the occupants of the building were instructed to move to secure locations.
Rioters attempting to kick in the Senate door last night. Thankfully DPS contained the reported crowd of 7000. pic.twitter.com/Ri2PmhD5cC
— Warren Petersen (@votewarren) June 26, 2022
Due to the direct threat to the occupants of the Senate building and damage to the building itself, Arizona State Troopers took immediate action and utilized tactics including the deployment of field force teams and tear gas.
As the riotous behavior at the Legislature was taking place, concurrent and spillover criminal misconduct in the form of felony criminal damage and the defacing of state memorials was occurring in Wesley Bolin Plaza.
Troopers exercised patience and application of tactics in Wesley Bolin Plaza as some people unwisely brought children to the protest turned unlawful assembly. After multiple warnings, and notifications of trespass and unlawful assembly, state troopers deployed gas and strategically moved to clear the plaza. After the plaza was cleared, additional state buildings in the area sustained criminal damage.
While we respect everyone’s right to peacefully assemble and protest, REGARDLESS OF THE ISSUE, we have to ask is it really necessary to damage our law enforcement and military memorials at the AZ state capitol? What kind of imbecile defaces a LEO canine memorial? pic.twitter.com/pXGd1Oen2A
— Glendale FOP Lodge 12 (@GlendaleFOP12) June 25, 2022