Another night of Seattle protests ends in tear gas, flash bangs

Jun 2, 2020, 5:32 AM | Updated: Jun 3, 2020, 9:31 am

Protesters gathered peacefully for hours Tuesday, before things escalated late, and tear gas once again flooded the streets of Seattle’s Capitol Hill neighborhood.

Protesters gathered for a peaceful demonstration near Cal Anderson Park in the Capitol Hill neighborhood Tuesday night, despite a 9 p.m. curfew in Seattle. That curfew was extended nightly through Saturday.

A massive crowd packed into the intersection of 11th and Pine along the park where Seattle police and the National Guard stood on the other side of a metal barricade. Several in the crowd held open umbrellas in response to Monday night’s protest in which, according to video shared across social media, an officer grabbed a protester’s umbrella right before tear gas was deployed.

Sometime after 11:30 p.m. Tuesday, video footage from the scene shows people dressed in all black from the back of the crowd beginning to hurl objects at police across the barricades, including a traffic cone.

Police then warned protesters that they would have to disperse, before spraying mace, deploying flash bangs, and letting loose tear gas at the intersection of 11th Avenue and Pine.

Unlike Monday night, SPD did not publicly declare Tuesday’s protest a riot.

I-5 through downtown Seattle was closed and opened, and closed and opened again as protesters moved about the city.

Earlier Tuesday, Mayor Durkan spoke to a crowd of hundreds outside of City Hall. She promised to meet with protest leaders on Wednesday. She also promised to address at least two issues: police mourning badges and body cam footage.

Meanwhile, hundreds of people protested outside of City Hall in Olympia, protesters gathered in Redmond, and students held signs and waved at cars in Mill Creek. More protests are expected on Wednesday.

A peaceful protest composed of Seattle students is expected to take place Wednesday at 12 p.m. At that same time, Seattle City Council’s Public Safety and Human Services Committee will be hearing from a community panel “with firsthand witness accounts of police response to #JusticeforGeorgeFloyd demonstrations.”

At 1:30 p.m., a separate rally will be held at Cal Anderson Park in Capitol Hill, calling to defund the Seattle Police Department.

Follow live updates for Tuesday below:

11:09pm: I-5 is back open through Seattle.

10:21pm – Washington State Patrol says they’re closing down I-5 again from I-90 to SR 520.

10:03pm – Police say a loud boom heard at the Capitol Hill protest was not them, and they just want a peaceful night. Also reports that small groups are breaking away.

9:56pm – A peaceful night at 11th and Pine, but protesters don’t seem to be going anywhere. Seattle’s curfew went into effect at 9 p.m.

9:41pm – Protesters and police continue to face each other at outside of Cal Anderson Park. Umbrellas are up and chanting continues as night falls.

9:05pm – The Seattle Times reports a large crowd of peaceful protesters in Olympia have begun dancing outside of City Hall.

9:00pm – Hundreds of people are on Capitol Hill as Seattle’s curfew takes effect at 9pm. An alert was sent across mobile phones about 30 minutes before. Mayor Durkan and Chief Best announced the curfew around 5:30pm

8:47 – Protesters, many holding umbrellas in response to Monday night’s declared riot on Capitol Hill, are on Capitol Hill again up against Seattle police and the National Guard.

8:38pm – The city of Tacoma has imposed a 9:30pm curfew Tuesday.

8:19pm – The crowd remains largely peaceful, with umbrellas still open in the front of the crowd by the barricades along 11th Avenue in Capitol Hill.

8:01pm – Seattle’s civilian-led Office of Police Accountability and the Office of the Inspector General will be “reviewing and auditing SPD’s response to the demonstrations” of the last few days, Mayor Jenny Durkan Tweeted out.

Durkan also reiterated that she will be meeting with the Seattle Police Commission and protest organizers tomorrow.

7:54pm – Protesters remains in Capitol Hill, continuing to chant while police stand behind barricades a block away from the East Precinct. Dozens of umbrellas are being held by protesters at the front of the crowd.

7:38pm – Protesters now appear to once again be gathered at barricades near Capitol Hill’s East Precinct, and are chanting George Floyd’s name.

7:24pm – At least seven cities are operating under curfews for multiple nights. You can see the latest updated list below:

7:10pm –  A KTTH listener sent photos of a peaceful protest on Redmond Way and 161st Avenue Northeast happening earlier this evening. Redmond has a curfew in place from 8 p.m. to 5 a.m.

7:06pm – More protesters are arriving at Cal Anderson Park in Capitol Hill.

7:00pm – Public reports on Twitter indicate a peaceful protest has been taking place in Olympia with at least 1,000 people in attendance Tuesday. There is no curfew set in Olympia at this time.

6:40pm – A protest organizer in downtown Seattle reports they plan to meet up at Cal Anderson Park in Capitol Hill, then march back to Westlake.

6:38pm – The lights on the Space Needle will remain off Tuesday night “to stand in solidarity with all people speaking out against the systemic injustices, racial inequalities, and violence affecting the Black community.”

6:32pm – There are reports of an ongoing peaceful protest in downtown Auburn. The city said law enforcement will be on site to help protect property and prevent any disruptions.

6:20pm – Seattle Police Chief Best announced a nightly curfew for the city (9 p.m. – 5 a.m.) through Saturday, June 6.

6:16pm – In addition to changing an officer’s mourning badge, Mayor Durkan said she will ask that the city council and CPC review the use of body cameras during public events, such as protests.

6:11pm – Police Chief Best said the Office of Police Accountability will review what happened outside the East Precinct on Monday night. She said that an officer was struck in the face with a large piece of concrete. Officers used less lethal munitions at the request of protesters.

“Our city and country are aching and we are at a tipping point. Something has to change,” Best said. She commended the peaceful protesters. She said she wasn’t there physically with the two officers who kneeled with protesters last night, but was in spirit.

6:03pm – Protesters are near the library in downtown Seattle.

6:00pm – A protest is underway in Mill Creek.

5:57pm – Bellevue is under curfew until 5 a.m. Wednesday.

5:55 pm – “Ultimately, we know that every interaction the public has with a police officer either adds to or takes away from public trust, either adds to or takes away from credibility,” Durkan said.

5:44pm – Seattle Mayor Durkan is speaking from City Hall.

“The demand of these protesters must be our demands. They must be a collective demand.”

5:39pm – A rally is also scheduled for 6 p.m. at Auburn City Hall.

5:28pm – Seattle protesters asked the mayor if they can continue to protest.

“Yes, you have the right to protest,” Durkan said. “Please keep it peaceful.”

5:23pm – Seattle Mayor Durkan addressed a common complaint among protesters — police officer badge numbers are covered with black tape to honor fallen officers.

“Because of your voice, we are going to make a change. We are going to make sure that the badge number – it won’t be able to start tonight – but we are going to find a way that a badge number can be shown every time.”

5:19pm – Protesters demand a timeline and action from Mayor Durkan. She spoke directly to hundreds of protesters and promised to sit down with the organizers tomorrow to have an honest conversation.

5:13pm – “As a black woman, I feel the same pain you feel. And just because I wear the uniform, that doesn’t change that,” Police Chief Carmen Best said outside the Emergency Operations Center in downtown Seattle in front of protesters Tuesday. “And there’s a whole lot of people that support you.”

5:10pm – WSDOT says all lanes of I-5 through Seattle are back open. The NB I-5 collector-distributor will stay closed until 5 a.m. tomorrow.

5:03pm – Mayor Durkan is reportedly going to address the crowd in front of the Emergency Operations Center in downtown Seattle.

4:25pm – I-5 is closing now due to the protest in Seattle nearing the highway. The closure will extend from I-90 north to SR 520.

4:23pm – About 1,000 protesters are reportedly out front at the Emergency Operations Center in downtown Seattle where Mayor Durkan is expected to speak. She was scheduled to start at 4:15pm.

4:10pm – The city of Tukwila is imposing a curfew from 8pm – 6am Tuesday.

3:59pm – Sound Transit says there are temporary reroutes for downtown Seattle as protesters move through the area. Read more from Sound Transit

3:56pm – Protests have been peaceful so far in downtown Seattle. Mayor Durkan has not announced a curfew on Tuesday, but has a news conference soon.

3:49pm – Protesters have gathered downtown and are on the move from Westlake Park, chanting “I Can’t Breathe.”

3:13pm – Reports show a crowd of protesters has gathered in Westlake with tentative plans to march to Cal Anderson Park in Capitol Hill.

2:04pm – Seattle Police Officer’s Guild President Mike Solan joined the Dori Monson Show on Tuesday. Solan said he welcomes any investigation from the Office of Police Accountability.

“We fully support their right of assembly, but unfortunately these bad actors, these anarchists, start to throw rocks and bottles at the police. And that is not OK,” Solan said. “What you’re seeing is, on social media, you’re seeing another false narrative push where they’re using clips of officers to drive their false narrative, which is a typical anarchist tactic. And we welcome, we literally welcome any OPA investigation. I have full confidence that our membership in the months that follow this will be completely exonerated.”

1:42pm – The city of Mercer Island has extended a curfew of 8 p.m. – 5 a.m. from tonight through Friday morning (June 5). Read more from the city here.

12:49pm – Seattle’s civilian-run Office of Police Accountability is investigating three incidents from Monday’s protests in the city’s Capitol Hill neighborhood. That includes “a confrontation between an officer and a male, a flashbang striking a reporter, and using pepper spray and flashbangs to disperse a crowd.”

11:48am – A protest in support of Black Lives Matter is scheduled to gather Tuesday at 6 p.m. at Auburn City Hall.

6:37am – Police barricades in Capitol Hill near the East Precinct have now been removed.

6:22am – The roads around Alderwood Mall are now open, although the Mall itself remains closed Tuesday. Surrounding businesses are being allowed to remain opened or closed at their discretion.

5:55am – Areas of downtown Seattle remain closed to traffic Tuesday morning following Monday’s protests, spanning Stewart to University, and from 3rd to 8th.

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(Photo by Mat Hayward/Getty Images)...
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Another night of Seattle protests ends in tear gas, flash bangs