City Council debates freedom of speech

The article is accurate. Some residents concluded though that the Council made changes to prevent clapping. That is not true. In the past, Mayor Sandy scolded anyone that clapped, but the current Council is different. The change just says if clapping “substantially interrupts, delays, or disturbs” the proceedings, it is a problem.

So, for completeness, we want to follow-up by providing the specific changes made to the Council Procedures in order to align with the Arizona Statute. The bolding was done by us.

City Council Procedure Change:


 1. Members of the public shall not engage in disorderly, disruptive, disturbing, delaying or boisterous conduct, such as, but not limited to, handclapping, stomping of feet, whistling, making noise, use of profane language or obscene gestures, yelling or similar demonstrations, when such conduct substantially interrupts, delays, or disturbs the peace and good order of the proceedings of the council. 

 2. Members of the Council shall not, by disorderly, insolent, or disturbing action, speech, or otherwise, substantially delay, interrupt or disturb the proceedings of the Council. 

 3. Any person who becomes disruptive while attending a Council meeting in a manner that constitutes disorderly conduct per A.R.S. § 13-29042, may be requested to leave the meeting and, if necessary, the Mayor may request that the police escort the person from that particular meeting. 


A. R. S. § 13-29042 reads:

13-2904. Disorderly conduct; classification

A. A person commits disorderly conduct if, with intent to disturb the peace or quiet of a neighborhood, family or person, or with knowledge of doing so, such person:

1. Engages in fighting, violent or seriously disruptive behavior; or

2. Makes unreasonable noise; or

3. Uses abusive or offensive language or gestures to any person present in a manner likely to provoke immediate physical retaliation by such person; or

4. Makes any protracted commotion, utterance or display with the intent to prevent the transaction of the business of a lawful meeting, gathering or procession; or

5. Refuses to obey a lawful order to disperse issued to maintain public safety in dangerous proximity to a fire, a hazard or any other emergency; or

6. Recklessly handles, displays or discharges a deadly weapon or dangerous instrument.

B. Disorderly conduct under subsection A, paragraph 6 is a class 6 felony. Disorderly conduct under subsection A, paragraph 1, 2, 3, 4 or 5 is a class 1 misdemeanor.