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Capitol Hill Community Post | A Call to Action for Businesses and Residents Subjected to SPD Tear Gas During the Capitol Hill Protests

From residents of the Sunset Electric building
Fellow Capitol Hill residents may recognize our building by now from the huge turnout of protesters gathering directly outside our doors at 11th & Pine for the past six days. As residents of Sunset Electric (1111 E. Pine Street), we have had front row seats to the voices of the protesters and the actions of the SPD – including the use of tear gas.

The SPD’s use of tear gas on the evenings of June 1 and 2 blanketed the intersection of 11th and Pine Street and sprawled throughout the neighborhood. If those of us in nearby buildings felt the harmful side effects of the tear gas we can only imagine how the protesters on the ground felt.

There is also an added risk to using tear gas in our neighborhood given that we are currently experiencing the worldwide COVID-19 pandemic. There is evidence that “tear gas can cause long-term harm by making people more susceptible to contracting influenza, pneumonia, and other respiratory illnesses.” (citation: https://www.propublica.org/article/tear-gas-is-way-more-dangerous-than-police-let-on-especially-during-the-coronavirus-pandemic) This makes the SPD’s use of tear gas negligent, as exposure to gas can reduce one’s ability to fight off the disease, not to mention children and those classified high risk. (citation: https://www.healthline.com/health-news/how-tear-gas-and-pepper-spray-affect-the-body) The decision to use tear gas is in direct contradiction to the Mayoral proclamation of civil emergency in response to the COVID-19 outbreak which states that it was enacted to “prevent…injury of persons and to protect the public peace, safety and welfare, and alleviate damage, loss, hardship or suffering.” (citation: https://durkan.seattle.gov/wp-content/uploads/sites/9/2020/03/COVID-19-Mayoral-Proclamation-of-Civil-Emergency.pdf)

We fear for the safety of the Seattle Black Lives Matter protesters as they have bore the direct brunt of the teargassing two nights in a row. If any other apartment complexes or local businesses have been adversely affected by the SPD and Mayoral Office’s use of tear gas during this week, please contact us at sunsetelectricresidents@protonmail.com. Our residents are currently organizing an open letter/petition from those of us in Sunset Electric addressed to both Mayor Jenny Durkan and Chief Carmen Best demanding that they cease the use of tear gas. If any other surrounding apartment complexes or local businesses would like a copy of our form letter and to unite with Sunset Electric as concerned and empathetic residents of Capitol Hill, please contact us at the email above.

Thank you.

Sunset Electric Residents


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Alex
Alex
5 months ago

This also needs to be addressed in regards to WA state patrol, as it was their state troopers who were heavy handed on June 2nd.

Alocal
Alocal
5 months ago

I’d be more worried about covid. Will be interesting to see just how many new cases we get from huge crowds.

ds
ds
5 months ago

So last night the crowd rained LARGE rocks at SPD and an improvised explosive device created likely from M80’s taped together. 1 officer that I know of, and perhaps more, went to the ER last night and no gas was fired. Other officers have been injured on previous nights from projectiles. You don’t want gas, don’t try to kill people because raining hunks of cement on people can blind, maim or kill them. I’m usually such a CHS fan but there are videos of the crowd raining projectiles on SPD for 9 full minutes 2 or 3 days ago. Report on it. Report on ALL of what happened last night and on previous nights please.

jseattle
Admin
5 months ago
Reply to  ds

We’ve covered the events in depth with all available information. Some reporting takes more time. I’m looking into incidents from Thursday night/Friday morning and if there is something newsworthy, we’ll report it.

jseattle
Admin
5 months ago
Reply to  jseattle

SPD, by the way, says it is still preparing updates on Thursday’s events so nothing to report from them. If you know about specific incidents and approximate times, let me know. Also, you posted on a community post written by a community member. Have you been reading our news coverage?

NA
NA
5 months ago
dftl
dftl
5 months ago

Tear gas is an irritant. It’s a pretty weak “agent of warfare”, causing no lasting trauma – unlike wooden clubs & lead bullets.

E. McAlistar
E. McAlistar
5 months ago

The Geneva Convention had a different perspective.

Lee
Lee
5 months ago

Watching the live helicopter view it sure looked there were some bad actors tossing stuff off the roof of the Sunset Electric building on to the crowd and police below.