Monday afternoon, the Seattle City Council is set to vote on a major budget overhaul that will brings layoffs for Seattle Police and, advocates say, begin the process of more radically changing the way the city funds the department and social services.
Sunday night brought hundreds of people to the streets of Capitol Hill marching for the Black Lives Matter cause with some turning to bouts of property damage and vandalism that have marked recent protests in this part of the city.
Monday, the full city council will take up a package of proposed cuts and changes at SPD that members say are equivalent to a “43%” cut to the remaining policing budget for 2020 as part of the months-long debate over equity and racism in the city sparked by the protests that followed the police killing of George Floyd.
After gathering in Cal Anderson Sunday night, a large march moved out on the streets around Capitol Hill and moved into the First Hill area where the first reported vandalism began around 10 PM. Most of the targets were familiar. The Whole Foods at Broadway and Madison suffered more broken glass as did the nearby Amazon Go. Two banks were reported damaged and a woman reported she was assaulted outside a store in the area.
Police rapidly moved on the crowd as some fled near 7th and Madison where police reported at least six taken into custody and released after their makeshift weapons or shields, and fireworks were confiscated, according to East Precinct radio updates.
At least three people were arrested and taken to the East Precinct. UPDATE: SPD’s public information office says two people were booked into jail but did not have information about what charges they were booked on.
Seattle Fire was called to the scene for a reported injury but we do not yet have details on what occurred.
After the arrests, a much smaller group was reported still active in the area but there were no further reports of significant damage or vandalism.
CHS reported here on the so-called “direct action” protests that have emerged in recent weeks with targeted vandalism and property damage.
UPDATE 4:30 PM: SPD has posted a brief on the property damage and arrests and says eight businesses were damaged:
Police are investigating after some individuals in a group of protestors damaged business windows overnight in the First Hill neighborhood.
Police began receiving reports that a group of protestors was marching from Cal Anderson park around 10:15 PM Sunday causing property damage.
Police caught up with the group around 7th Avenue and Madison Street where a few members of the group were smashing windows. Officers arrested six of the individuals for property damage.
In all, eight businesses were damaged and two people were booked into King County Jail. The other four people involved were interviewed and released from the precinct pending further charges.
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