Barricades, fires and loot amid showdown with police in Seattle, 10 arrested

seattle protest

Protesters wreaked havoc in downtown Seattle, erecting barricades and setting them on fire to block police from moving in. Violence erupted in the heart of the former ‘autonomous zone’ created by Black Lives Matter (BLM) protesters.

At least 10 were arrested after a BLM protest in Seattle turned violent on Saturday night, and saw activists storming a boarded store and vandalizing businesses and Seattle City Hall with graffiti.

Footage emerged showing masked protesters spray-painting “Kill Pigs” and “Kill SPD [Seattle Police Department]” on the walls of the building that hosts the mayor’s office and the city council.

One video shows a protester attempting to ram City Hall with a bicycle while masked activists dressed predominantly in black can be seen drawing anarchist symbols on the walls with spray paint.

SPD released a photo of smashed windows in a coffee shop at the Columbia Center in downtown Seattle.

SPD reported, “Protesters have wound their way through the city causing damage along the way.”

Vandals were filmed breaking into and looting an Amazon store despite its boarded-up storefront.

Protesters ignited barricades on Capitol Hill, reminiscent of the woebegone days of the ‘Capitol Hill Autonomous Zone’ or ‘CHAZ’ (later renamed ‘CHOP’), which lasted for three weeks before widespread violence forced the authorities to intervene and dismantle it on July 1.

The self-declared ‘autonomous zone’ sprang up following nationwide protests over the killing of Minneapolis, Minnesota resident George Floyd, who died while in police custody. Demonstrators sealed off several streets near the police’s East Precinct after law enforcement abandoned the building. Although initially praised for its festive mood, the area quickly descended into anarchy, with crime and violence becoming especially bad at night.

As police moved in to raze its lookalike, they were pelted with projectiles.

“Crowd has also begun throwing bottles and rocks at officers,” SPD tweeted shortly after it ordered the protesters to disperse.

Police eventually succeeded in scattering the crowds and putting out the fires, saying that the arrests were made in connection with “assaults and “assaults and property damage.”

10 people arrested

At least 10 people were arrested after a group of protesters smashed windows, started street fires and threw fireworks at officers, Seattle police said.

Seattle has seen days of protests following the decision not to indict any Louisville police officer for the killing of Breonna Taylor in her own home.

Police said they issued a dispersal order to the group, who defied the order and instead started throwing rocks, bottles and fireworks at officers.

SPD said they used blast balls to push the crowd back, allowing the Seattle Fire Department access to put the fires out.

The 10 people arrested were charged with failure to disperse, assault and property damage.

Some protesters threw fireworks, rocks, glass bottles and even a fire extinguisher, police said.

Some of the businesses damaged in recent days have been longtime supporters of the BLM, CNN affiliate KOMO reported.

Shiva Hippely, owner of Pure Barre Capitol Hill, posted a photo Saturday after the windows were smashed in the previous night.

“During a time where we are barely holding on due to the pandemic, getting hit like this hurts more than ever,” Hippely wrote on Instagram.

“I struggle with the fact that I too am angry about decisions being made in our country and everything happening, but how does smashing the windows and looting your small minority owned business who is doing everything to help build community, provide a safe third space and be there for the people help?”

Protesters file lawsuit, alleging Seattle, state didn’t act to protect them

A KOMO News report said on September 26, 2020:

At least 11 plaintiffs on Friday filed a civil lawsuit in King County Superior Court, accusing Seattle and Washington state officials from failing to provide adequate protection for them from out of control drivers or police officers while they were demonstrating.

Attorneys say it could end up being 60 plaintiffs once a legal waiting period expires in two months.

Protesters file lawsuit, alleging Seattle, state did not act to protect them

Speaking under overcast skies at Jimi Hendrix Park and echoing the allegations contained in the civil lawsuit, several dozen people announced the lawsuit while going into detail how they were targeted by Seattle police during the protests that flared in the city last summer following the death of George Floyd by four Minneapolis police officers.

“This lawsuit is brought on behalf of peaceful protesters,” said Karen, one of the event organizers. “These protesters did not attack the police. They did not commit violence. They did not loot. They are like 99 percent of the protesters who have tried to protest on behalf of Black Lives Matter. Their peaceful protests were met with the very thing they are protesting against: They were met by excessive force from the police.”

The 100-page lawsuit includes the family of Summer Taylor, who was killed in the overnight hours of July 4 while protesting police brutality on a closed stretch of Interstate 5 when a white Jaguar sped around parked cars on the freeway, striking Taylor and another protester.

“I don’t have many good days anymore” Summer’s father, Matt Taylor, told KOMO News following the announcement about the lawsuit. Taylor’s family said the victim had lived on Capitol Hill and was a regular protest participant since the unrest began in Seattle in June.

Matt Taylor said the Washington State Patrol troopers failed to protect protesters who where on I-5 that night. The lawsuit says the state has a history of allowing I-5 lanes to be temporarily shut down for people exercising their First Amendment right.

“Yes, they were not providing adequate protection” he said. “If you look at the way they behaved and the things they say, the things they say in social media, they weren’t there protecting anyone, they didn’t care at all.”

Daniel Gregory was shot by a man who drove his car into a crowd that was standing behind a barricade set up by Seattle police officers to prevent protesters from advancing to the department’s East Precinct building.

Gregory said police should have protected demonstrators from someone driving into the crowd.

“They didn’t prevent it,” he said. “I felt like they favored it to happen more than they favored for it not to happen. They had barricades (and), we had cones we set up.”

According to the filing, Gregory is also a plaintiff in the civil action.

“City and State governmental entities operating in Seattle are not above the law,” the plaintiffs state in the lawsuit. “Their solemn duties include protecting and serving The People. Even when The People are critical of or peacefully disobedient towards those in power or who have law enforcement authority over them, governments are not allowed to react out of irritation or anger. Governments are not allowed to indiscriminately lash out against The People invoking their Constitutional rights to assemble and protest, even if in disharmony with other laws. Governments are not allowed to create or contribute to situations imperiling The People protesting.”

Several dozen people gathered Friday to announce the filing of a wrongful death lawsuit against the city and state, alleging that neither government acted to protect them.

Other plaintiffs in the lawsuit include protesters who said they were beaten, struck, doused with pepper spray or tear gassed by police during protests.

One of those was a veteran of the war in Afghanistan.

“All the things that we experienced when we were deployed are literally happening here,” said Abie Ekenezar.

The plaintiffs accuse Seattle police of engaging in discrimination and brutality while the protesters were exercising their constitutionally mandated rights to peacefully protest.

The lawsuit is accusing the city of violating the state’s Constitution and other state and local laws.

City officials said they would challenge the lawsuit.

“We intend to investigate these alleged claims and will defend the City in this matter,” a spokesman for the Seattle City Attorney’s Office said.



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