Police report 45 arrests after march on Capitol Hill declared a ‘riot’
The Seattle Police Department declared events in Seattle’s Capitol Hill on Saturday afternoon a riot due to “the ongoing damage and public safety risks.”
SPD reports Sunday that “dozens of arrests” were made. At 10 p.m. Saturday, SPD said 45 people had been arrested for assault on officers, obstruction, and failure to disperse. They say 59 officers were injured on Saturday — one was treated for a knee injury while most of the rest returned to duty.
Two groups of demonstrators gathered in Capitol Hill just after 2 p.m. Saturday at Seattle Central College and Cal Anderson Park before all marching south on Broadway, according to SPD’s report.
At 4 p.m., the crowd arrived at the King County Youth Service Center and a small group entered the construction site and set fire to portable trailers and other equipment. Windows were later broken at several businesses in the area as the group moved north on 12th Avenue. Once they reached the East Precinct, several people began spray painting and trying to disable security cameras. A device exploded that left a hole in the side of the precinct. SPD declared the incident a riot and issued orders to disperse.
“The crowd threw bottles and balloons filled with liquid and shot mortar fireworks and tossed explosives at officers,” according to the SPD Blotter.
Police responded with OC spray, blast balls, and sponge rounds, but did not deploy tear gas, staying true to a promise made by Police Chief Carmen Best. The crowd continued to shrink in size over the course of the night.
Follow tweets from KIRO Radio’s Hanna Scott, KTTH’s Jason Rantz, and Seattle Police Department:
Federal forces were reportedly on standby in the city to protect federal buildings as needed.
On Friday, a federal judge also granted the Seattle Police Department temporary permission to use crowd control tools, blocking an ordinance from the city council that was set to take effect Sunday.
KIRO Radio’s Hanna Scott reports Judge Robart stressed that the order was to be very “temporary” as he wants to stay on track to get a report on the impact of the city council’s ordinance from accountability partners on Aug. 15.
On the SPD Blotter, Chief Best wrote that officers would be carrying pepper spray and blast balls with them Saturday, but promised they would not use CS gas.
“In the spirit of offering trust and full transparency, I want to advise you that SPD officers will be carrying pepper spray and blast balls today, as would be typical for events that carry potential to include violence,” Best said. “This is consistent with existing policy and the Court’s order of early this morning. SPD promises the community that we will not deploy CS (tear) gas.”