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Rage and frustration bring marches in Seattle and clash with police on Capitol Hill over Breonna Taylor injustice — UPDATE

(Image: Matt Mitgang via Twitter)

Rage and frustration over injustice in the police killing of Breonna Taylor brought hundreds into the streets of Seattle overnight in a wave of protests across the country.

In Seattle, the night included a vigil for Taylor on the steps of the city’s federal courthouse, marching, and a clash with police near Capitol Hill’s East Precinct that eventually ended in the declaration of an “unlawful assembly” and clouds of pepper bomb explosions, blaring sirens, and rubber bullets.

Seattle Police and activist organizers report at least 13 were arrested and several people were injured including officers and demonstrators, some posting pictures online of their injuries from the hard foam rounds fired by police to disperse crowds late in the night.

Earlier Wednesday, a vigil brought speakers and lit candles on a rainy, blustery night to the steps of Seattle’s federal courthouse after a grand jury in Kentucky declined to file homicide charges in the March 2020 killing of the 26-year-old Black woman.

On Capitol Hill as the vigil continued, groups of two to three hundred formed and marched, beginning a now familiar pattern of back and forth, slow motion pursuit with police vehicles blaring sirens and flashing lights to try to break up the marching crowds.


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A similar scene played out Tuesday night following the Seattle City Council’s vote to override Mayor Jenny Durkan’s vetoes of police budget cuts.

Wednesday’s back and forth flowed onto First Hill and included bouts of property damage including shattered windows at at least one Starbucks and damaged street parking payment kiosks. The early sparring also brought the first reported arrests on the evening, according to reports from demonstrators and live streams from the march.

After reconvening in Cal Anderson, hundreds of demonstrators marched through the Hill again and around Broadway back toward 11th and Pine, the center of clashes with police during the CHOP occupied protests this summer. With the large E Pine Black LIves Matter mural temporarily removed in a rehabilitation project, a sort of one-sided standoff ensued on as live streamers showed SPD officers preparing inside the precinct’s E Pine garage entrance.

Around 10:45 PM, a large boom could be heard from a firework thrown onto the precinct garage ramp. Police soon flowed out of the precinct after they said someone “cut security cameras” at the walled-off and heavily fortified precinct. Police aggressively pushed into the crowds, appearing to target a handful of demonstrators for arrest, and sending many fleeing and choking from clouds of pepper spray and explosions from pepper bombs.

A larger push would come around an hour later as the crowds had moved back toward the precinct and fires were set to debris and dumpsters in the street.. The heavy police thrust scattered demonstrators and pushed crowds far from the precinct onto Broadway where police continued to pursue protesters and take people into custody. Sirens again blared across the neighborhood as the windy night carried the smell of pepper spray. A dumpster fire was reported near Boylston and Pike and there were reports of property damage in the area.

(Image: SPD)

Police report several officers were injured including one struck in the head by an assailant with a baseball bat. Police have asked for help in identifying the attacker.

Among the arrests, King County Jail records show at least two people held for failure to disperse, one booked for obstruction, and a handful of booking for malicious mischief and rendering criminal assistance.

Numerous accounts and photos of injuries suffered by demonstrators were posted online and many expressed outrage of video that showed one officer roll his bike over the head of a protester witnesses say was injured and lying helpless in the street. Many identified the protester as the demonstrator known as “Trumpet Man,” a regular presence during CHOP and a popular antagonist of police seen at actions from Portland to Seattle. The matter will be referred to the Office of Police Accountability for further investigation, police said early Thursday morning. The OPA’s findings in its first rounds of investigations from complaints filed during the summer’s protests found only limited violations.

UPDATE: SPD announced Thursday afternoon that the OPA has opened an investigation into the incident and the officer involved has been placed on leave as the King County Sheriff’s Office considers a possible criminal investigation.


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20 thoughts on “Rage and frustration bring marches in Seattle and clash with police on Capitol Hill over Breonna Taylor injustice — UPDATE” -- All CHS Comments are held for moderation before publishing

  1. Gosh, if they don’t want to be arrested, perhaps they shouldn’t smash windows/damage property? I don’t think anyone who decides to stay in place after being ordered to disperse should be surprised if they have a bad night. You’ve got the freedom to express your views, and I guess you’re demonstrating your desire to be treated in a less than ideal manner. I mean, you MUST *want* to be treated this way, otherwise why would you stick around? I just don’t get it. Idiots.

    • If Breonna Taylor’s case isn’t a prime example of how your statement is flatly untrue, I don’t know what is. The woman wasn’t only not protesting, she was asleep in her own goddamn bed. Calling the murder of unarmed, sleeping black people by police who aren’t even charged with murder for their actions “less than ideal” is so offensive, I don’t even know where to start with you except to state that you must have no concept of the victims as actual human beings.

      • Claiming that she was asleep in bed is a factually false statement. She was not an innocent in all this. She is thoroughly documented receiving narcotics, helping her boyfriend with drugs, a dead body was found in a rental car she had rented. The cops announced multiple times they were police, despite the main stream narrative it was a no knock warrant, the boyfriend fired on them multiple times striking a police officer in the leg. The police defended themselves and fired upon the boyfriend, he was hit and Breonna was accidentally killed in the crossfire.

        You are a prime example of an outraged “helpful id**t” that does not know the facts but wants to be woke. Congratulations.

      • He never called anything about what happened to Breonna Taylor less than ideal – he called what the people practicing destruction of property are doing as less than ideal….. the two are not equal and one thing being wrong doesn’t justify doing something else that is wrong….

        You breaking the window of a Starbucks in Seattle will not bring back Breonna Taylor, you breaking the window of a Starbucks in Seattle is not going to affect a police officer in Louisville, you breaking a window at a Starbucks in Seattle won’t make a police officer in Louisville more accountable – all that you breaking a window in a Starbucks is going to do is get the other people with you pepper sprayed, discredit the entire group, some of whom may even be actually just be demonstrating, possibly put you in jail and prove to us all that what you really care about isn’t Breonna Taylor at all, but rather anti-capitalism, because that’s the only statement that your breaking the window of a Starbucks makes…

      • Replying to “Learn the Facts” lies: Neither Brianna nor her current boyfriend had any drug-related record.
        Please document where Brianna was “fully documented” in receiving narcotics. The cops claimed the USPS found that, but walked back that position when the USPS said they had no such evidence. As a lawyer, I can say that the legal process in issuing the search warrant was a disgrace. Maybe that’s why Brianna’s family was awarded $12M for her wrongful death. And the “Dead body in a rental car” thing must be from a “Q” website.

      • The City Attorney (who is Black) in Louisville, after a long and careful look at all the facts, concluded that there was no way he could prove in court that the officers involved in Brionna’s shooting could be prosecuted, and his decision should be respected because he is the ONLY one who knows all the facts in the case.

        The officers only fired their weapons when they were first fired upon by the boyfriend. Enough said.

  2. Since (I assume) most people coming to this site are residents of Cap Hill, I think more specifics as to where the damage was done would be very helpful to most readers. Obviously CHS has more detail about the area than any other site, but in these cases I’m not sure there is such a thing as “too much” detail. Regards.

  3. Gosh, if they don’t want to be protested, perhaps they shouldn’t smash peaceful protestor skulls? I don’t think anyone who decides to stay in uniform after being ordered by their bosses (the citizens of Seattle) to reform should be surprised if they have a bad night. You’ve got the power of free will to control your actions, and I guess you’re demonstrating your desire to be treated in a less than ideal manner. I mean, you MUST *want* to be treated this way, otherwise why would you continue committing unjust and violent atrocities against racial and economic minorities? I just don’t get it. Idiots.

    • The video of that is flat out disgusting. He attempted to murder that officer, no question. And the other rioters did nothing to intervene and in fact egged on this behavior. Disgusting.

      • And the other rioters did nothing to intervene and in fact egged on this behavior.

        As opposed to all the cops that intervened and detained their own officer that intentionally ran over the head of protestor on the ground.

        Oh wait.

  4. 1). punod makes an excellent point. this is already strong coverage, but more geospatial information in the article would only add value. what’s a neighborhood news source if not hyper local?

    2). love GG’s response.

    3). this story is deplorable. kudos to the council for overriding the mayors veto, here’s hoping their budget brings real reform to what is clearly a broken department. defund the police, vote durkan out! (note i am not calling for a recall b/c as much as i’d like her to not be mayor, i personally believe that forwarding a recall process would be too much for us on a physical/emotional/etc. level as a city and as citizens in what’s already been a *tumultuous* 2020).

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