24 arrested during sweep at Seattle’s Cal Anderson Park
Police say 24 people in all were arrested during a sweep of Cal Anderson Park in Seattle’s Capitol neighborhood on Friday.
Charges range from “misdemeanor trespass, failure to disperse, resisting arrest, obstructing arrest, and property destruction.
The sweep, originally planned for Wednesday, began Friday morning. Parks Department employees arrived early to find protesters. Seattle police arrived to warn campers to clear out of the park.
By 1 p.m., Seattle police said there had been 21 arrests and parks department employees were continuing to clean out the park. By 5 p.m. there were three additional arrests and police said the park cleanup effort had concluded.
There were a few skirmishes with officers, KIRO Radio’s Hanna Scott reported, but the group had at one point been moved back to East Denny Way and 11th Avenue while officials began clearing the park. At that time, it appeared that SWAT was outside an empty house taken over Thursday.
Protesters gathered in Capitol Hill’s Cal Anderson Park early Wednesday, believing that city officials planned to sweep the park then. On that day, police and parks workers did not ultimately attempt to enter the park or move homeless campers out of the area.
A lawsuit filed Wednesday by a homeless individual camped in the park asked a U.S. district judge to issue an injunction, which would put a pause on any efforts to clear Cal Anderson Park. Judge Richard Jones — who heard arguments for an against the lawsuit Wednesday evening — denied the request Thursday.
This sweep marks the third time Seattle has cleared homeless campers out of Cal Anderson Park this year, with a pair of sweeps taking place in late-summer months. At the prior sweeps, police officers that were present to support the city were met by a group of protesters, and campers and aid tables returned to the park soon after police left the area. The park has been closed since June 30.