Cleanup efforts begin in Seattle, Bellevue in wake of Sunday protests

May 31, 2020, 4:30 PM | Updated: Jun 1, 2020, 7:17 am
Bellevue protest...
BELLEVUE, WA - MAY 31: Firefighters extinguish a truck fire on May 31, 2020 in Bellevue, Washington. Protests due to the recent death of George Floyd took place in Bellevue in addition to Seattle, with looting in Bellevue and at least one burned automobile there. (Photo by David Ryder/Getty Images)
(Photo by David Ryder/Getty Images)

There were two stories on Sunday: One of peaceful protests and one of looting.

Despite curfews in both Bellevue and Seattle, peaceful protesters moved through each city well into the night. However, just blocks over in Bellevue, looters broke into Lincoln Square, Bellevue Square, The Bravern, and into small shops.

Streets in downtown Bellevue were full of smoke and sidewalks littered with glass.

A bright moment was when Bellevue Police Chief Steve Mylett knelt down in the street and spoke directly to protesters about how his department condemned the murder of George Floyd.

In Seattle, protesters moved from Westlake Park to Capitol Hill and back. Dozens of people meandered the streets while Seattle police kept watch on bicycles. Stragglers kept officers busy well into the morning hours.

Looting at retail stores was reported in Auburn, Renton, Southcenter, and Olympia. Several cities, including Spokane, are under curfew until Monday morning.

Gov. Inslee has activated the National Guard across the state to help local jurisdictions if they make the request.

Organizers promise another day of protests on Monday.

See our live updates below:

7:11am – At least 30 armed community members are standing guard outside Pistol Annie’s Pawn Shop in Bonney Lake. The shop’s owner, Melissa Denny, says that police told her there was credible information her shop could be targeted by protesters looking for guns and ammunition.

6:20am – Some restrictions in downtown Seattle “exclusion zones” cordoned off last night during protests are now easing. KIRO Radio’s Chris Sullivan is reporting that cars are being allowed back on 4th Avenue, as well as other streets.

Most roads are back open in Bellevue, according to KIRO Radio traffic reporter Tracy Taylor.

5:54am – Cleanup efforts are now underway in Seattle and Bellevue.

4:07am – Parts of downtown Seattle, Bellevue, and other cities around the region have been cordoned off to allow for cleanup efforts with protesters no longer out. Protesters in Olympia reportedly dispersed close to 1 a.m.

11:57pm – Police are trying to move along stragglers in downtown Seattle.

11:34pm – Auburn Mayor Nancy Backus has declared a state of emergency after looting at several stores —  a curfew is effective from 11 p.m. and ending at 7 a.m. Monday.

11:13pm – Protesters in Seattle are beginning to disperse, after police walked them briskly around downtown. The strategy was to wear them out.

10:47pm – Gov. Inslee has activated the National Guard statewide.

10:43pm – All I-405 exits to downtown Bellevue have opened, according to WSDOT.

10:29pm – Seattle police on bikes and with batons out are pushing protesters from Westlake Park toward the Washington State Convention Center.

10:13pm – King County Executive Dow Constantine has issued a Proclamation of Emergency, allowing county departments to make emergency repairs and address issues associated with civil emergency. The proclamation expedites resources.

The county also activated the Emergency Operations Center.

Additionally, 116 Washington National Guard members have been deployed to Bellevue tonight. Gov. Inslee also activated 200 more members, bringing the total to 600, at the county’s request to help cities respond to looting, manage crowds and traffic, and protect against property damage.

9:59pm – In Renton, police say looters are in the area of the Landing. Officers are at the scene.

9:55pm – Police in Seattle are telling protesters near Westlake Park to go home.

9:45pm – WSDOT says all exits from I-5 and I-405 to Southcenter are closed. Use alternate routes.

9:41pm – Spokane Mayor Nadine Woodward has imposed a curfew until 5 a.m. Monday after peaceful protests gave way to destruction.

9:32pm – Renton police have reported looters in Renton Walmart. The Chief has made a request for backup officers. Renton PD is also assisting the Tukwila Police Department.

9:18pm – Reports of armed  civilians in downtown Snohomish tonight. They’re reportedly ready in the event of looting.

8:44pm – Tukwila has imposed a curfew starting at 9 p.m. after suspects threw things at police officers and stormed inside a Target.

8:40pm – The downtown core of Bellevue is closed to all vehicle traffic until tomorrow morning.

8:36pm – The Washington State Patrol will reopen I-5 through downtown Seattle soon.

8:28pm – Protesters in Seattle are making their way back to Westlake Park.

8:15pm – Downtown Bellevue posted photos of a car on fire near the J. Lewis Jewelry store, Panera Bread and Flo Japanese restaurant.

7:48pm – KIRO Radio’s Mike Lewis reports Seattle police have stopped protesters, who’ve largely been acting respectfully Sunday evening, at Madison St. and Minor Ave. on First Hill. Officers are not letting them back into downtown Seattle, telling them they lost their privileges after last night’s riots.

7:35pm – More instances of looting in Bellevue as police see more officers arrive for backup. At least five young adults were seen in handcuffs. KIRO Radio’s John Curley reports sounds of loud bangs near Bellevue Square.

7:13pm – Bellevue Police Chief Steve Mylett and officers are taking questions from protesters. There are two events taking place in Bellevue: looting and a peaceful protest where KIRO Radio’s Aaron Granillo is:

7:01pm – A large group of protesters is marching around Seattle’s Capitol Hill neighborhood.

6:45pm – Lots of activity mapped out in downtown Seattle and Bellevue, despite curfews.

6:43pm – Seattle has deployed a Public Safety Zone around Westlake. Traffic is not allowed within this area. Use other routes and expect delays.

6:38pm – KIRO Radio’s Mike Lewis reports that downtown Seattle is relatively quiet tonight. Much quieter than 24 hours ago. However, there are reports of disturbances on Capitol Hill.

6:17pm – Looters in Bellevue have broken store windows, including at the Cheesecake Factory.

6:15pm – Bellevue Police Chief Steve Mylett says the looters in his city planned this chaos. “They have tactics,” Mylett said.  He added that they’re throwing bottles and rocks. A rock nearly missed his head.

6:10pm – KIRO Radio reporter Aaron Granillo witnessed armored vehicles moving through downtown Bellevue.

6:03pm – All I-405 ramps to downtown Bellevue are closed due to the protest, according to the Washington State Patrol.

I-5 closure info: I-5 is closed from I-90 to SR 520. WB 90 diverted to SB 5. NB 5 diverted to EB 90. WB 520 diverted to NB 5. SB 5 diverted to EB 520. Avoid the area..

5:55pm – At least a dozen people broke in Bellevue Square and looted. The City of Bellevue says police officers entered the mall and chased people out.

“The situation in Bellevue is still active and we need people to avoid the downtown area,” the city tweeted.

5:51pm – Bellevue PD spokesperson Meeghan Black says looters appear to be from outside of the city.

5:35pm – Bellevue’s mayor has issued a 5:30pm – 5:30am curfew after declaring a state of civil emergency. Read more here.

“The curfew states no person, with the exception of law enforcement and other emergency response activities, city and government officials and authorized media, shall enter or remain in the public right-of-way, or in the public parks, or at any other public place as bounded approximately on the West by 100th Ave NE, on the South by Main St/SE 1st St, on the East by 120th Ave NE/NE 1st St and on the North by NE 12th St.”

5:32pm – A group is marching eastbound on Pike in downtown Seattle.

5:14pm – About 1,000 people have gathered in Westlake Park, despite Seattle’s 5pm curfew. They’re beginning to march toward 5th Ave.

5:03pm – Seattle is now under curfew as imposed by Mayor Durkan on Saturday. Officers are staged on streets downtown.

4:37pm – Washington State Patrol is shutting down I-5 through downtown Seattle due to protesting. It’s also sending resources to Bellevue.

4:27pm – The city of Bellevue is pleading with people to stay out of downtown as rioters move through downtown.

Some people are breaking windows and destroying property. The city says they’re throwing objects at police officers.

Seattle’s curfew takes effect at 5 p.m. and remains until 5 a.m.

Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan is expected to address the city at 4:30 p.m. A large crowd has gathered outside City Hall and is chanting, “Hands Up, Don’t Shoot.”

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Cleanup efforts begin in Seattle, Bellevue in wake of Sunday protests