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Gov. Inslee activates National Guard statewide

Washington National Guard in downtown Seattle on Saturday night. (Washington National Guard)

Just hours after activating a third round of National Guard members, Gov. Inslee said he has activated the Guard statewide.

At least 116 members were deployed to the city of Bellevue Sunday evening after looting broke out in the downtown core. People broke into Lincoln Square, The Bravern, Bellevue Square, and small businesses in the area.

Earlier Sunday, Inslee activated more Guard members to help clean up Seattle and prepare for potential afternoon protests.

Photos from Seattle on Saturday
Mayor Durkan sheds tears over destruction in downtown Seattle

Inslee said the guard members will be unarmed and under the direction of city leadership. They’ll be on hand to help clean up from Saturday’s riot, protect the city from further property damage, and manage crowds and traffic during protests.

The governor tweeted on Saturday afternoon that he was activating the first set of 200 National Guard members.

Inslee issued a statement about the riot in Seattle:

“Saturday’s disheartening events in Seattle – carried out by a smattering of the thousands of protesters on hand – will not deter the cause of justice. Hundreds of public servants and volunteers are already helping clean up the property damage done. I have complete faith that downtown Seattle will recover from this quickly, and the state will help, however we may be of assistance.

“Thousands were protesting peacefully against an atrocious act of brutality. This cause confronts a different kind of destruction, one that can’t be fixed with new windows, graffiti-scrubbed walls or insurance. The message behind the demonstration was compelling and one all of us should share. We will not allow vandalism and destruction to obscure the protest’s central call for justice.

“On behalf of all Washingtonians who believe in justice, I want to thank the protesters who carried a peaceful and important message. We all also owe gratitude to law enforcement, fire fighters, medics, National Guard and volunteers who are working to protect the city and its people.”

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