Unrest in Downtown Phoenix amid protest over deaths of George Floyd, Dion Johnson; two arrested

A protest in Downtown Phoenix amid national controversy over the death of an unarmed black man while in police custody has resulted in unrest.

The demonstration began following a vigil for Dion Johnson in Eastlake Park, who was shot and killed by a DPS trooper on May 25.

Video captured by SkyFOX late Friday night show some protesters breaking windows at some businesses, and some trying to break into buildings near the Phoenix Police headquarters.

According to Phoenix Police, various properties, including windows and doors to municipal and private businesses, have been broken. Cars were reportedly damaged as well, and a fire was also seen burning at a multi-story garage.

A total of 18 locations had reported damage, ranging from broken windows to graffiti.

In video taken by SkyFOX, protesters were seen moving east from the Phoenix Police headquarters late Friday night, heading into other parts of Downtown Phoenix.

Earlier in the night, protesters gathered in front of the Phoenix Police headquarters. Police later declared an unlawful assembly and ordered the crowds to disperse.

Officials say protesters began throwing bottles, rocks, fireworks and other objects at police headquarters and towards law enforcement.

Pepper spray and pepper balls were used to break up the crowds, police say. At the same time, eight Phoenix PD vehicles had their tires slashed and windows broken.

No injuries were reported, but officials say eight officers were assaulted by objects thrown at them.

Two men were arrested: Michael Lane, 44, and Andrew Givens, 36,

Lane was arrested for rioting, criminal damage and unlawful assembly, while Givens was arrested for aggravated assault on an officer, unlawful assembly and possession of narcotic drugs.

Arizona governor Doug Ducey responded Saturday morning to the protests, commending law enforcement for their work in responding to the situation. 

"In Arizona, we will always respect the 1st Amendment rights of citizens to peacefully assemble and make their voices heard," wrote Ducey. "We will not, however, tolerate rioting, looting, violence, destruction of property or any behavior that endangers the safety or rights of others".

Ducey said the Phoenix and Tucson police departments will be offered the full support of the state.

Friday's protest was the second time in as many days that protesters gathered in Downtown Phoenix in the aftermath of George Floyd's death. Floyd's death while in police custody in Minneapolis, Minnesota have sparked numerous protests across the country, including in Detroit, the San Francisco Bay area, and Washington DC.

One of the four officers involved, identified as Derek Chauvin, is being charged with third-degree murder and manslaughter, according to authorities.

Protests on Thursday night in Phoenix resulted in the arrest of eight people.

"Unfortunately, the actions of a small group of individuals changed that peaceful protests to one that was criminal," said Phoenix Police Chief Jeri Williams earlier on Friday.

On Friday, Chief Williams apologized to members of the media over a statement that some took as a threat to arrest members of the media for remaining at the scene while an unlawful assembly declaration was made.

"In no way do we intend to curtail your right to collect and report the news. We value our relationship with the media," the statement read, in part.