Officers with the Seattle Police Department witnessed “members of a protest” damage a KeyBank located in the 1600 block of Broadway around 8 nm. The group then smashed windows at a Starbucks in the 800 block of 12th Avenue before officers moved in and made three initial arrests. One person was arrested for property damage and another two for obstructing a law enforcement officer.
The group continued to march through the streets and caused more property damage to businesses and residences, the police department said in a persverklaring. A fourth person was arrested for property damage before the group returned to Cal Anderson Park.
Photos released by police showed shattered windows at the Starbucks and the message “F— Up Dirty $ ” spray-painted on an ATM outside KeyBank. Buildings were tagged with slogans supporting Black Lives Matter as well as calls for anarchy, arson and violence against cops.
Another phrase seen in graffiti was “Land Back,” a nod to a liberal indigenous sovereignty movement that usually receives attention around Thanksgiving celebrations as some Native Americans instead call for a counter-protest dubbed a National Day of Mourning.
Seattle has been the site of ongoing protests since the death of George Floyd, a Black man in Minnesota, earlier this summer. In the initial unrest following Floyd’s death in police custody, officers in Seattle were ordered to abandon the police department’s Fourth Precinct, which became a major bargaining chip for demonstrators who erected barricades around an area of Capitol Hill that included Cal Anderson Park and about six city blocks back in June.
Demonstrators who said they called for racial justice and to defund the police camped out for about three weeks in the space first declared Capitol Hill Autonomous Zone, or CHAZ, before the name changed to Capitol Hill Organized Protest, or CHOP. Democratic leadership, including Mayor Jenny Durkan, received criticism for allowing unchecked crime, including vandalism and sexual assault, to continue in the occupied zone until several shootings, including one that killed a Black teenager, prompted police and city officials to reclaim the area.
After months of contentious talks, Durkan now plans to sign a new city budget voted on by council members last week to reduce the city budget by 18%, which will cut funds for training, overtime and eliminate dozens of vacant positions within the department. The reductions fall short of the 50% local activists demanded amid nationwide protests against police brutality and racial injustice.
The new budget comes as the city marked its 55th murder of the year Monday with the fatal shooting of a man in the North Beacon Hill neighborhood. Another man was also shot in the same incident but survived. Like other big cities, Seattle is seeing a sharp rise in violent crime. The city recorded 28 homicide victims last year and 32 in 2018, according to police figures. Going back to 2008, the last year of data available, murders never topped 30 prior to 2018.
Fox News’ Louis Casiano het bygedra tot hierdie verslag.