Spokane elected officials condemn ‘armed vigilantes’ roaming streets during protests

SPOKANE, Wash. — Spokane elected officials have released a statement condemning what they describe as the armed vigilantes present at several protests.

The statement reads as follows:

“We, as elected leaders from the Spokane community, declare that we oppose the presence of armed vigilantes’ roaming the streets of our city.

The past two weekends, during and after protests in downtown Spokane sparked by the murder of George Floyd and others, armed vigilantes were observed individually and in groups around downtown Spokane. Their presence did not contribute positively in any way to the protests. In fact, their presence made the situation more tense and our city more dangerous for all involved.

We strongly condemn the presence of armed vigilantes and find their actions contrary to the values of our community. The tactics used to intimidate and put fear in the citizenry, businesses and people peacefully protesting against personal and systematic racism and promoting justice have no place in our City.”

The statement was signed by Senator Andy Billig, Representatives Timm Ormsby and Marcus Riccelli, Mayor Nadine Woodward, Spokane City Council President Breean Beggs and all members of the City Council, County Auditor Vicky Dalton, and School Board members Nikki Lockwood, Jenny Slagle and Kevin Morrison.

The Spokane Police Department also responded, “We are concerned with criminal behavior. We have seen people on both sides of the protest armed.”

4 News Now reached out to Sheriff Ozzie Knezovich, who said he has no comment on the letter at this time.