Tuesday marks one year since the May 25th, 2020 police killing of George Floyd in Minnesota and the start of Black Lives Matter protests across the country and around the world.
Four days later with broken glass at an Amazon grocery and the neighborhood’s Ferrari dealership, unrest spread across downtown and Seattle as thousands of protesters took to the streets of the city in the midst of pandemic lockdowns.
Here is a look at those early days of Seattle’s Black Lives Matter uprising — days that have been overshadowed by the Capitol Hill occupied protest camp that formed, the abandonment of the East Precinct and its barrier walls, ongoing anti-police protests, and the attempts of Seattle City Hall to adequately respond to the movement with changes to its police department and an election that will bring new leadership to the City Council and the mayor’s office.
Friday, May 29th: Protests begin in Seattle after the Floyd killing as thousands march and demonstrate. Windows are smashed at Capitol Hill’s Amazon grocery and Ferrari dealership, and seven arrests are reported.
Saturday, May 30th: Protests continue as clashes with police grow downtown bringing flames, tear gas, and gunfire. Mayor Jenny Durkan begins a nightly curfew to try to quiet the unrest.
Sunday, May 31st: Protests grow with a large rally in Westlake.
Monday, June 1st: Police clash with demonstrators on Capitol Hill, deploying tear gas and flash grenades.
Tuesday, June 2nd: Durkan tries to address protester demands by speaking at a march to thousands of demonstrators. Protesters again march on Capitol Hill.
Wednesday, June 3rd: A ‘Defund Seattle Police’ rally begins in Cal Anderson after another battle of tear gas and blast balls on Capitol Hill. National Guard troops join the lines with police outside the East Precinct.
Thursday, June 4th: The city bows to protest demands and lifts its curfew as demonstrations continue. Capitol Hill’s Pike/Pine core and Cal Anderson continues to grow as a center of the ongoing protests. Meanwhile, a battle line forms at 11th and Pine. The abandonment of the East Precinct and formation of CHOP would soon follow.
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