After mayor’s vow to peacefully clear camp, another shooting in Cal Anderson protest zone sends man to hospital — Plus, possible second victim

A victim in Tuesday morning’s shooting incidents is loaded in an ambulance at 11th and Denny (Thanks to a CHS reader for the image)

Seattle Fire took one person to the hospital and a possible second shooting victim was rushed by private vehicle to Harborview as Tuesday began with another bout of gun violence on the edges of the Capitol Hill protest camp at Cal Anderson.

Seattle Police confirmed they were responding to a shooting at 11th and Denny early Tuesday and confirmed one person had been shot and taken to the hospital. UPDATE: SPD has posted a brief on the incident saying the victim is a man in his 30s who was not cooperative with police and provided no details of what led to the shooting. SPD says it does not know if there was a second victim.

According to Seattle Police radio updates, police were called to the area on the north end of Cal Anderson near residential apartment buildings around 4:45 AM. After staging for about five minutes to gather enough officers to enter the area of the protest camp, police reported finding a man who had been shot screaming on the northwest corner of 11th and Denny. Continue reading

Spokesperson: Mayor’s office meeting with Capitol Hill protest camp to address ‘significant nighttime public safety concerns and issues’ — UPDATE

Mayor Jenny Durkan and city officials are meeting Monday with representatives from the Capitol Hill protest camp at Cal Anderson Park after a weekend of gun violence in the area left a 19-year-old dead and injured two others, according to a spokesperson for the mayor’s office.

“As many community groups are also urging, Mayor believes individuals can and should peacefully demonstrate, but the message cannot be lost in the violence,” a statement from the spokesperson reads. “Today, City departments and outreach services will be on site updating individuals on the shootings. Later today, we will also be sharing the City’s plans for addressing significant nighttime public safety concerns and issues.”

The effort could represent a shift in the mayor’s relationship to the protest zone after her public stance in recent weeks emphasizing the camp as a place for free speech and demonstration. “For as long as I can remember, Capitol Hill has been autonomous,” the mayor said in a June 12th tweet. “It’s always been a place where people go to express themselves freely.” She has also defended the zone in her social media jousting with the Trump administration over the growth of the camp and demonstration zone in the city. Continue reading

Police investigate sex assault at Cal Anderson camp

Police are investigating a Thursday sex assault reported at the Capitol Hill protest camp.

The suspect was taken into custody after a volunteer medic overheard the commotion inside a camp tent as the victim who is deaf tried to scream for help, according to the police report on the incident. Continue reading

Report of another shooting near Capitol Hill protest camp — UPDATE: One to hospital

A victim is carried by the camp’s medic volunteers at Cal Anderson Sunday night (Image: Matt Mitgang)

A camp security volunteer responds to Sunday night’s shooting (Image: Matt Mitgang)

Another night of gun violence has sent at least one person to the hospital after a shooting in the area of the Capitol HIll protest camp Sunday night.

All information is preliminary at this time and has not been confirmed by police or Seattle Fire. Seattle Police has confirmed there was a shooting and that one person was taken to the hospital and that there were reports of a possible second shooting incident.

UPDATE 6/22/20 10:26 AM: SPD has posted a brief on the shooting reporting that the victim is a 17-year-old:

At 10:03 PM, police were monitoring a demonstration which had marched from the Capitol Hill Organized Protest (CHOP) area to the West Precinct at 8th and Virginia in downtown Seattle. The march was returning to Capitol Hill when SPD’s 911 Center received multiple reports of gunfire near Cal Anderson Park. To ensure the safety of medical personnel, police staged with Seattle Fire at the edge of the CHOP area and were gathering information about where the shooting victim was located when they learned he had been transported in a private vehicle to Harborview Medical Center. Police received reports of a possible second injured person but were unable to confirm that there were any additional victims. The 17-year-old victim sustained a gunshot wound to the arm. He declined to speak with detectives. He was treated and released from the hospital. The Seattle Police Department is responding to 911 calls all over the city, including inside the CHOP. For 911 calls from within CHOP, officers will attempt to coordinate contact with victims and witnesses outside the protest zone. Anyone with information on the shooting that occurred Sunday is asked to call the tip line at (206) 233-5000.

Witnesses reported hearing multiple rounds of gunfire in an incident around 10:40 PM near the protest zone. Video from the scene also captured the sounds of gunfire.

A witness said organizers reported one victim was taken to the hospital with a shoulder wound.

There were reports of a possible second victim but no other person was reported injured in the incident.
Continue reading

Juneteenth in Seattle: Freedom March in the Central District, Blackout healing at the CHOP

The Buffalo Soldiers Of Seattle, 9th-10th Cavalry from a Seattle Juneteenth past (Image: Karen Toering)

A Friday of actions to mark Juneteenth will further efforts to re-center Seattle’s ongoing demonstrations on the city’s Black community and Black Lives Matter goals,

In the Central District, leaders from Africatown and the King County Equity Now coalition will rally at 22nd and Madison for a march to Jimi Hendrix Park and a day of rallies, a teach-in, and a celebration of Black graduates.

Juneteenth Freedom March

The Africatown-led King County Equity Now coalition has emerged from the protests with a roster of demands for officials to accept proposals from “Black-led, community-based organizations to maximize” the use of “underutilized public land for community benefit” at a roster of Central Seattle properties. Continue reading

After mayor’s speech on deescalation, police making strongest show of force yet at ‘standoff’ at 11th and Pine

(Image: Noah Lubin with permission to CHS)

 

With reporting by Jake Goldstein-Street and Alex Garland

Early Sunday evening, the city’s mayor and chief of police called the center of Seattle’s protests against police brutality at 11th and Pine a “standoff” — by midnight, it was again a warzone.

The show of aggressive police force included a near 10-minute barrage of flash bang explosions heard across the Hill and the central city, streams of pepper spray, and clouds of gas that sent demonstrators scattering for safety in Cal Anderson and area residents doing what they could to seal off doors and windows.

Earlier Sunday, Mayor Jenny Durkan offered the city’s first explicit explanation for engaging in the weeklong standoff citing “specific information from the FBI about threats to the East Precincts and buildings in Seattle,” Durkan said Chief Carmen Best and her command “concluded that removing the barrier would jeopardize the safety of the public and the community, especially considering there are approximately 500 residents that live in that block.” Continue reading

With new energy — and demands — from Central District rally, second week of protest in Seattle begins — UPDATE: Elected officials join protest after burst of flash bangs on Capitol Hill

Horse mounted protesters were part of the scene in the Central District

PJ (left) and Chaka Khan (right) were part of the Friday night protest and rally scene in the Central District (Image: Jake Goldstein-Street)

With reporting by Jake Goldstein-Street

UPDATE 7:48 PM: A calm but energetic protest became a chaotic mess in a burst of police firepower Saturday night. The situation came to a head around 7:40 PM as police were attempting to push a large crowd of demonstrators back from the frontline fencing and put National Guard troops in place. After reports of police grabbing umbrellas and moving on the crowd, an order to disperse was given, followed by pepper spray and a hail of loud flash bangs and designed to create explosions of smoke and fire to clear away crowds.

“You have been given an order to disperse,” a command officer repeated over the area’s public address system installed in recent days to help better communicate with protesters. Police were threatening the use of pepper spray and other “less lethal” weaponry if protesters did not comply.

Protesters were reported scattering from the scene and regrouping on nearby streets.

Multiple people were reported detained.

UPDATE 9:15 PM: Seattle Police reports that “several officers” were injured during the incident and that small explosives were thrown at police:

Image from a Facebook livestream behind the police line

Crowds have reformed and police and National Guard troops were back in place behind the barrier at 11th and Pine. Police announcements asked the crowd to “please respect” the barriers so that “First Amendment” activities could continue.

“We are committed to a peaceful protest,” the command officer said during the address. “Please respect the police lines.”

UPDATE 11:28 PM: A contingent of Seattle elected leaders has gathered at the protest in a visit to the front line. “Calling on @carmenbest @SeattlePD @MayorJenny to STOP this! Move the police line back to the barricade at least, dont spray, gas, flash/noise bombs,” council member Teresa Mosqueda writes. 43rd District rep Nicole Macri, King County Council member Girmay Zahilay, State Joe Nguyen, plus fellow city council members Dan Strauss, Lisa Herbold, and Andrew Lewis joined Mosqueda in the show of solidarity with protesters.

UPDATE 11:55 PM: After a request to Chief Best from the assembled set of elected officials, the line of police and Guard troops was moved back to create more distance between the groups and to give demonstrators more room.

UPDATE 6/7/2020 6:50 AM: The overnight hours following the Saturday night outburst saw no further large-scale police escalation of crowd control tactics but there were reports of at least one major protest-related arrest effort on Capitol Hill away from the 11th and Pine core.

SPD posted a brief on the Saturday night escalation that brought elected officials to the front of the protest in response and upped the volume on calls for Mayor Durkan to resign:

During the on-going protests in the Capitol Hill neighborhood, officers deployed blast balls and pepper spray to temporarily disperse the crowd after individuals in the group threw bottles, rocks, and incendiary devices broke through a fence line, and several officers were injured. Just after 7 PM Saturday the scene commander began warning the protesters at 11 Avenue and East Pine Street to stop pushing the barriers placed there. Some unidentified people in the group began throwing bottles, rocks, and incendiary devices at officers who had moved forward to push the barriers back to their location. The group refused to back up and officers deployed pepper spray and blast balls in an attempt to push the crowd back. The protesters moved back a block and officers were able to reset the barriers. Several officers were injured during the incident and two were taken to Harborview Medical Center to treatment of their wounds. There was no CS gas deployed during this confrontation.

ORIGINAL REPORT: A second Friday of actions in Seattle brought new demands and new calls for justice as thousands gathered in the Central District for a “teach-in,” a rally, and a march to the city’s protest core outside the East Precinct at 12th and Pine for another relatively peaceful night of chanting and anti-police demonstration..

“We’re creating these environments, these networks and we’re using our platforms. I don’t want to see nobody with over 1K of a follower not post this rally today,” one speaker said during the afternoon rally in the parking lot at 23rd and Jackson. “I don’t care if you got 200 followers. I want to see it on your social media.”

The rally — filled with speakers, community support, music and dancing, free barbecue, and, yes, protest horses — filled the parking lot at a rapidly changing corner of the Central District where a massive mixed-use development from Vulcan and.an apparent Amazon grocery store is rising across the street.

Continue reading

Seattle temporarily bans use of tear gas during protests but pepper spray and flash bangs to remain in ‘crowd control’ arsenal

Clouds of tear gas billowed through the streets of Pike/Pine and downtown this week. That Seattle Police “crowd management tool” is now on hold.

Mayor Jenny Durkan and Chief Carmen Best announced Friday a temporary “at least 30-day” suspension of the use of the gas by police in Seattle as part of what they say will be a larger review of the department’s crowd control tactics including pepper spray, flash bangs, and use of force policing including chokeholds.

For now, only tear gas will be banned. Durkan said Friday the city’s police “do not need to be using tear gas as part of a crowd management tool.”

SWAT teams will still be allowed to use the gas during standoffs and when authorized, Best said. Continue reading

Sixth day of protest in Seattle brings victories for the movement and another night of protest on Capitol Hill — UPDATE: ‘You go home, we go home’

Nikkita Oliver

Nikkita Oliver makes her way past officers during Wednesday’s daytime demonstrations

Protesters outside the East Precinct Wednesday night (Image: Jake Goldstein-Street)

By Jake Goldstein-Street with additional CHS reporting

The movement behind six days of protest in Seattle against police brutality marked significant victories Wednesday including a major decision from the city on oversight of its police department and the lifting of heavily criticized nightly curfew. Seattle citizens will no longer be required to stay inside between the hours of 9 PM and 5 AM and, “For those who are demonstrating,” Mayor Jenny Durkan said in the announcement of the roll-back of her unpopular policy, “please keep making your voices heard peacefully.” Durkan’s bid to end federal consent decree oversight of its police force in place for years after findings of biased policing is also being put on ice.

With past mayoral candidate lawyer/activist Nikkita Oliver broadcasting live at a conference table inside City Hall in a meeting with Durkan, city officials, and representatives from Seattle area groups and communities, the movement made its most solid gains yet in the days of demonstrations and clashes with police.

It wasn’t clear if the victories would carry on into the night as again thousands of protesters gathered on E Pine and near Cal Anderson surrounding the neighborhood’s East Precinct — an area that has again become a stage for the First Amendment in Seattle. A feed showing multiple live streams from the area can be found here.

UPDATE 10:10 PM: Police in riot gear and National Guard troops again formed a wall of barriers around the East Precinct headquarters at 12th and Pine as demonstrators again focused their concentration near the 11th and Pine fences. Wednesday night, a loud, low-flying Washington State Patrol airplane providing surveillance reports of the situation replaced the drone of helicopters as the most irritating sound on the night. Police geared up with shields and gas masks multiple times as tensions flared over thrown objects including barrages of plastic water bottles, apples, and, at one point, rocks police determined had been thrown from a building at 12th and Pike. The roof was cleared of people and police could be seen observing the crowd below from the vantage point. Large groups of protesters were also reported breaking off from the main crowds for marches across the Hill. After a report of a dispute involving a driver who reportedly tried to ram a group of protesters near north Broadway, a massive crowd of around 1,000 marched to the area and then back down Broadway to the protest’s core. While umbrellas used to block pepper spray, gas canisters, and blast balls were also again ubiquitous in the crowd, Wednesday’s new “must have” gear for protesters was ear plugs and protection over concerns of a “sound cannon” device rumored to be part of SPD’s crowd control arsenal at the site.

Chief Best in Omari Salisbury’s livestream

10:20 PM: Chief Carmen Best made an appearance behind the police line at East Precinct and was roundly booed by the crowds.

10:40 PM: Best might win back some love. She invited livestreamer Omari Salisbury behind the barricade lines. Salisbury has become a popular figure during the protests with his video coverage and nearly ceaseless commentary about what he is seeing play out.

UPDATE 11:20 PM: Aviation enthusiasts have identified another plane visiting Seattle’s skie — FBI surveillance craft #N021LS.

UPDATE 11:45 PM: Numbers have fallen at the core of the protest at 11th and Pine but many remain. A group of 100 or more was reported marching from northern Capitol Hill to join the crowd.

UPDATE 8:30 AM: “You go home, we go home” chants filled the night as protesters remained in action on E Pine into a new day. A small crowd held the ground on E Pine and is now ready to start a Thursday of protest on Capitol Hill. Signs and aid stations have remained in place along with other elements of the protest. A large banner hung near the site now marks the number of days “since our last teargassing.” Overnight, protesters and neighbors rejoiced when the noisy Washington State Patrol surveillance plane ceased its night-long trips in circles around the area around 1:30 AM. Police, meanwhile, remained at the line all night and appear prepared to join the protesters in the round-the-clock presence at 12th and Pine.

UPDATE 10:15 AM: CHS reached out to the FBI and WSP about their airplanes and future plans for deployment. The FBI wrote back:

 

After two nights spent at the intersection of 11th and Pine that ended in tear gassing from law enforcement, protesters of police brutality were back at Cal Anderson Park on Wednesday’s sunny afternoon with calls to “defund” the Seattle Police Department. Continue reading

‘Defund Seattle Police’ rally planned for Cal Anderson after another battle of tear gas and blast balls on Capitol Hill

With reporting from Jake Goldstein-Street and Alex Garland

A brokered peace gave way to another night of aggressive crowd control tactics on Capitol Hill as police used pepper spray, flash grenades, and tear gas to end a fifth day of anti-cop protests in Seattle, part of actions across the country and the world against police brutality and racism following the killing of George Floyd by Minneapolis police.

The just before midnight clash on E Pine came only hours after Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan and the city’s police chief Carmen Best stood with a group of protesters in front of a huge crowd surrounding the city’s Emergency Operations Center south of Yesler in Tuesday afternoon’s attempt to show solidarity with the demonstrators and work out a plan for reforms and to end the ongoing demonstrations.

Tuesday afternoon, organizers asked the mayor to commit to no more tear gas being used by SPD to control crowds — the mayor refused to make a promise she could not keep.

Around 11:40 PM, after crowds had marched through Seattle following the mayor’s address outside the operations center and met up with thousands more protesters to form the largest showing yet during the week’s demonstrations on E Pine to spend the evening chanting and rallying against the walls of police, state troopers, and National Guard troops lined up outside SPD’s East Precinct headquarters, police responded with a major show of force to a hail of what was reported as rocks, bottles, and “fuel cans” thrown at the front of the line. The crowd’s umbrellas — hoped to be used to ward off the pepper spray, tear gas canisters, and blast grenades — were no match. Continue reading