KINGMAN ENJOYS PEACEFUL ACTIVISM ONE MAN ARRESTED AT PROTEST
A 12-hour-long peaceful demonstration closed with dozens of protesters kneeling in silent prayer at Locomotive Park in downtown Kingman Tuesday. Hundreds of people visited the park under the watchful eyes of at least 30 law enforcement personnel from the Kingman Police Department and Mohave County Sheriff’s office.
Members of the Arizona Patriots and a local militia stood by to make certain the protest did not erupt in violence or property damage. More than a dozen soldiers from the Arizona National Guard arrived by helicopter to help keep the peace.
Spokesman Maj. Aaron Thacker said the Guard member’s first mission in Kingman was to ensure peaceful assembly and free speech and engage any threat or disruption of those Constitutional rights. He said local officers would handle other incidents and that Guard members were there to free them up to handle whatever arises.
And they did. Officers encountered a few hecklers and one arrest was reported. Kingman Police Lt. Joel Freed said a man drove by and pointed what appeared to be an AR-15 rifle out the driver’s side window. Freed said five protesters witnessed the threat and summoned police, who stopped the vehicle about a quarter-mile from the site.
Robert Fernandes, 43, Kingman, was booked into the Adult Detention Center on aggravated assault with a deadly weapon and disorderly conduct charges.
“We knew that we were going to get hate. Everybody gets hate for fighting for what they believe in,” said organizer Shai Weaver, an 18-year-old from Kingman. “We had posted that if there were anti-protesters here, they have every right to a civil, peaceful protest as we do. But we would like to shout down all the rumors of us being affiliated with any radical groups.
“Our movement here is titled ‘Black Lives Matter,’ but we are not affiliated with the Black Lives Matter organization. Naysha (Powell) and I are locals. I grew up in this town and went to high school here. I represented this city in New York City with a Broadway internship that I had when I was 16 so, no, we are not here to cause violence. We are not here to loot and we are not here to riot.”
Protesters used plastic bags to gather trash and clean the park as the event began winding down at about 6:30 p.m., well ahead of the statewide curfew imposed by Gov. Doug Ducey.