Julie Humphreys, 509.622.5868
Monday, June 1, 2020 at 7:27 p.m.
Outstanding work by Spokane police officers and officers/deputies from neighboring agencies minimized injuries and property damage during downtown rioting.
Spokane Police Chief Craig Meidl offers his most sincere thank you to the hundred-plus officers who worked tirelessly under tense and dangerous circumstances yesterday afternoon and evening. While there were many moments of good conversation, handshakes, and mutual respect between peaceful protestors and law enforcement, there were unfortunately also many incidents of violence and disrespect toward those tasked with ensuring public safety for all members of our community.
“Officers and Deputies showed tremendous patience and professionalism towards those bent on creating chaos and causing destruction. They did so while rocks and other objects were thrown at them, vulgarities were levied at them and their patrol cars and property were damaged. We greatly appreciate the support of law enforcement by the community during a situation like we’ve never seen in the history of our city,” says Chief Meidl.
There is a good deal of misinformation circulating during this time. None so much as reports that SPD allowed armed fringe groups to patrol the streets of Spokane. That is absolutely false. Several groups armed with weapons were gathered in the downtown area. Washington is an open carry state meaning people carrying weapons are within their legal rights. However, once the curfew was enacted, the groups were told if they continued to gather in violation of the curfew ordinance, they would be arrested. The groups left the area.
SPD would like to thank the many agencies from throughout the Inland Northwest who responded to our mutual aid request including: the Spokane County Sheriff's Office, Kootenai County Sheriff’s Office, Coeur d'Alene Police Department, Kennewick Police, Benton County Sheriff’s Office, Cheney Police, Spokane Detention Services, and the National Guard. Their assistance during yesterday’s protest and rioting resulted in a safe and successful outcome.