Mayor Woodward: ‘What we’re seeing now is not Spokane. This is not who we are’

SPOKANE, Wash. — Mayor Nadine Woodward and Police Chief Craig Meidl held a news conference Sunday night to address the ongoing situation in downtown Spokane.

Both Woodward and Meidl said the George Floyd protest Sunday afternoon was peaceful, but a second group escalated the situation.

Meidl said 500 people walked into the downtown area from the courthouse and began breaking into buildings and looting. Police responded with tear gas and rubber bullets.

“What we’re seeing now is not Spokane. This is not who we are,” Woodward said. “We are seeing our downtown business’ windows broken. We are seeing looting and we are seeing people who are not following police orders.”

Woodward issued an immediate curfew for the area between Division and Maple, and 5th to Boone. The curfew is in place through 5 a.m. Monday. City leaders have asked people to leave downtown immediately, but Meidle said there are several hundred who refuse.

Law enforcement from Kootenai County and the Tri-Cities have been called in to assist SPD. Spokane County Sheriff Ozzie Knezovich has also requested assistance from the National Guard.