Six officers were injured, and 18 people arrested in a riot Sunday in the SODO neighborhood of Seattle, police said Monday.
There was a protest against the police union starting in the International District around 7 p.m., officers said. There were about 100 people. Vehicles followed. This group moved toward the Seattle Police Officer Guild building where, after 10:00 p.m., a person in the crowd set off what officers described as a “a large explosive and attempted to break out a police vehicle window.”
An incident commander told the crowd to disperse, but people starting throwing rocks and bottles at police, according to authorities.
“Multiple explosives were thrown toward officers,” police said.
Footage released by the police department showed what seemed to be fireworks.
The incident commander declared the scene a riot. Cops used pepper spray and blast balls. The crowd dispersed after moving north.
Injuries to police included a burn to the neck, and an injury to the face. One of the officers went to the hospital but had not returned to duty, police said Monday.
PROTEST TO RIOT: Surveillance video shows @SeattlePD taking stand in front of it’s union headquarters in SoDo neighborhood Sunday night. 18 arrests multiple officers hurt. Surrounding businesses concerned about being targets. Story 4pm, 6pm @komonews #Seattle #SeattleRiots pic.twitter.com/buPXOrAIBK
— Jonathan Choe Journalist KOMO News (@choeshow) August 17, 2020
In July, a federal judge blocked a new city law that would’ve banned the use of pepper spray, blast balls, and other crowd control weapons after the Department of Justice argued that this would result in the use of even deadlier weapons, according to The Associated Press.
A King County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office spokesperson told the outlet Monday that police referred four cases for review, and prosecutors said these lacked evidence to meet their filing stands to ask for bail. These four cases do not involve people who allegedly injured police, said spox Casey McNerthney.
“We cannot overemphasize the important distinction between people who are gathered to non-violently air grievances against their government and those who take advantage of the otherwise peaceful protest to commit acts of violence, victimize peaceful protesters, or commit acts of arson, property destruction and theft,” he wrote. “Each of the cases we file are public, and we believe that when people in the community read those public documents they’ll see the distinction, too.”
The police investigation is ongoing. As part of standard court procedure, many people who were booked into jail after midnight on Monday will have their cases reviewed on Tuesday, according to McNerthney.
[Screengrab via Seattle Police Department]
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