Scottsdale fell into chaos Saturday night as a large crowd of people descended on Scottsdale Fashion Square and the Scottsdale Waterfront area and began damaging businesses and restaurants, including the Apple Store and P.F. Chang's, and seeming to loot stores inside the mall.
Scottsdale Mayor Jim Lane and officials are providing an update after groups looted shops near Fashion Square mall.
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The events began as another group of people were protesting and marching in downtown Phoenix, which had moments of peace and moments of increased escalation.
Scottsdale police declared an "unlawful assembly" early in the night, but that did not seem to deter the crowds, who continued to run across streets and inside the mall damaging properties, including a nearby dealership where windows and windshields were visibly shattered. Damage was also spotted at ATT, Crate & Barrel, and Neiman Marcus.
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On Sunday morning, Scottsdale police said a dozen people were arrested during the "unprecedented" event and booked into jail on various charges. One assault and millions of dollars in damage were reported. There were no reports of injuries to any officers, according to police.
"On Saturday, May 30th, the City of Scottsdale experienced an unprecedented event. Hundreds of people came to Scottsdale, specifically, the Scottsdale
Fashion Square Mall, under the guise of protesting police violence," Scottsdale police said in a statement. "While some may have indeed come to join what they believed would be a peaceful protest, what occurred was neither peaceful, nor a protest. It was a riot that saw several dozens of individuals collectively damaging property at and near the mall, breaking into businesses and looting the interiors. "
Officers from several other police agencies, including Mesa, Tempe, Chandler, MCSO, and DPS were called in to assist, police said.
Police said the investigation has begun and "any offenders who can be identified as having committed criminal acts will be arrested."
Earlier in the day Saturday, a post began making its way around social media that alleged a possible meet-up was potentially planned at Scottsdale Fashion Square. When asked on Saturday, a spokesperson for Scottsdale Police told ABC15 that they were aware of the post, but "we aren't able to confirm the validity of any specific information being circulated."
"Scottsdale Police officers are always prepared to respond to any acts of violence or property damage," the statement on Saturday said.
Several roads in the area remain closed until further notice, and Scottsdale Fashion Square is also shut down indefinitely.
"Our hearts are broken for our community. At this time, Scottsdale Fashion Square is closed. We’ll get through this together and we look forward to seeing you soon," the mall said in a statement Sunday on its Facebook page.