A police precinct which was ‘occupied’ by protesters in Seattle for several weeks was set ablaze on Sunday afternoon and 12 officers taken to hospital after protests on descended into chaos.
Rocks, bottles and an explosive device were hurled at officers, the police department said, after a peaceful protest calling for the abolition of federal Immigration and Customs Enforcement, or ICE, 더존카지노 escalated dramaticalls.
Around 1:30pm, a secondary group of demonstrators joined in, police said, and were seen carrying baseball bats.
The East Precinct – the site of several nights of often violent confrontations between police and protesters last month, resulting in the department on June 9 abandoning the precinct building – was set on fire, but the blaze was brought under control.
Seattle police’s Twitter account posted images of smashed up shops and the Municipal Court, describing how the crowd marched through the Pike Place area of the city, ‘leaving behind a trail of property destruction.’
The group damaged the old federal courthouse building, graffitied the SPD headquarters and graffitied and broke windows at the Municipal Court building, police said.
Police in Seattle on Sunday evening patrolled the streets after protests turned violent
Seattle police posted an image of the vandalized Municipal Court on Sunday evening
A group of protesters marched through Seattle on Sunday, causing traffic chaos
‘These are criminal acts, not peaceful protests,’ the police said.
Amazon Go and Starbucks – both based in the city – were singled out and vandalized.
‘Individuals in the group appeared to target Starbucks and Amazon,’ Sgt. Lauren Truscott said in a news conference.
Starbucks has attracted attention for its work with the city police department.
A spokesperson for Starbucks, asked last week about their ties to the police, said the coffee chain ‘provided funding to the Seattle Police Foundation to support the SPD with Implicit Bias training and supported their 2019 Banquet gala.’
Police used blast balls and pepper spray to get the protesters to disperse, according to a Seattle police spokesperson.
Sgt Truscott said one of the injured officers was taken to Harborview Medical Center after ‘fragmentation entered his throat and neck area.’
The other injured officers were assessed and treated at the precinct.
Truscott said the group appeared to be well organized and well-orchestrated and acted in ‘a joint effort to target specific businesses and government buildings.’
Truscott said police also received reports of looting from some of the damaged stores.
A separate protest took place in the Wallingford neighborhood, with protesters chanting ‘Defund the police’ and ‘Black Lives Matter’, reported.
An Amazon Go store in the city was spray painted and some protesters tried to smash windows
An entrance to the store was defaced and windows smashed during the unrest
Seattle police on Sunday evening tweeted an update about the protests in the city
A small fire was started at the East Precinct, which was rapidly extinguished
Ten minutes after the fire started, it was put out, police confirmed on Sunday
Seattle has been shaken by significant unrest since George Floyd was killed on May 25.
Protesters demanding police reform and racial justice set up their own police-free ‘autonomous zone’ around the abandoned East Precinct, which drew national attention and had been marred by multiple shootings, including one that killed a teenager.
Donald Trump repeatedly singled out the Democrat-run city as a lawless and out-of-control example of weak leadership.
On July 1 police moved in to the Capitol Hill Occupied Protest, or CHOP, zone, after Mayor Jenny Durkan issued an executive order calling for the area to be vacated, aiming to end the weeks-long occupation around a police precinct.
Police cleared out protesters from CHOP on July 1 and, on July 3, pictured, defended the area
The ‘autonomous zone’ was declared free of police from June 9 to July 1
Officers made dozens of arrests as they carried out her directive, they said, and warned that anyone who remained in the area or returned to it could be taken into custody.
The Seattle police department, which is already under federal oversight as a result of a history of using excessive force, has been sharply criticized by civil libertarians and members of city government for its violent tactics, including the use of tear gas and pepper spray against otherwise mostly peaceful protesters.
Protesters are seeking the defunding of the department by as much as 50 per cent, reported.
The city council — and a federal judge — have barred police from using tear gas, blast balls and other crowd control weapons against peaceful protesters, though the council’s ordinance is not scheduled to take effect until later this month.