Seattle police declare riot amid ongoing protests
The Seattle Police Department declared a demonstration in the city Saturday night a riot after buildings were vandalized and multiple fires were set.
Approximately 2,000 people gathered in the area that was previously known as the Capitol Hill Occupied Protest (CHOP) in the city’s Capitol Hill neighborhood to demonstrate. Thousands of protesters occupied the CHOP in Seattle for weeks earlier this year when police left their east precinct following clashes with protesters demonstrating over the death of Floyd. Most protesters had left the zone by late last month.
Police arrested at least 25 people in Seattle as of Saturday night.
The Trump administration announced on Thursday that it was sending a tactical border patrol team to Seattle amid ongoing protests. The team is similar to those that were deployed to Portland to protect federal property that has been damaged by protesters.
After demonstrators began marching through the area, five trailers at a construction site for a juvenile detention center were set ablaze, CBS News reported. Seattle police said protesters also spray painted the city’s 12th police precinct and tried to disable security cameras.
Police reported some demonstrators also broke windows on vehicles, businesses and a court facility. Officers also said they are investigating possible “explosive damage” to a precinct and reports of explosives being “thrown or fired at officers.”
Three officers were injured amid the protests, including one who was hospitalized with an injury to his leg due to the explosives, according to police. Two officers were treated and returned to duty.
Police deployed flash grenades and pepper spray before arresting protesters, The New York Times reported.
The demonstration came a day after a federal judge issued a temporary restraining order that lifted a ban on Seattle officers using tear gas and pepper spray on crowds.
The declaration from the police department comes as the Trump administration has upped the presence of federal law enforcement in Democratic cities throughout the United States. On Wednesday, President Trump announced that federal agents would be sent into Chicago and Albuquerque, stating that the cities were overcome with “violent crime.”