Thousands of people gathered in the Capitol Hill neighborhood of Seattle on Saturday to protest in support of Black Lives Matter and show solidarity with those demonstrating in Portland, Oregon, CBS affiliate KIRO-TV reports. Seattle police declared the gathering a riot after fires were set and some buildings were vandalized and have arrested at least 25 people.
The demonstration is taking place in the area that was briefly known as the(CHOP). After demonstrators began marching, five trailers at a nearby construction site for a juvenile detention center were set on fire. According to Seattle police, protesters also spray painted the 12th police precinct and tried to disable cameras outside the building. Police also claimed protesters were breaking windows of businesses and cars in the area.
Police said they deployed “less-lethal munitions” to clear people away from the precinct. Police later claimed that protesters were throwing rocks, balloons filled with liquid, fireworks and “other explosives” at officers and shared a photo of what appears to be a colored smoke bomb. Police said three officers were injured. One was taken to the hospital while the other two were treated and returned to duty.
Saturday’s demonstration comes one day after a federal judge issued a temporary restraining order that lifted a ban on Seattle police using tear gas and pepper spray to disperse crowds, KIRO-TV reports. The June 15 ordinance had been put in place following protests that were broken up violently following the death of George Floyd.
On Saturday morning, Seattle police Chief Carmen Best said officers would not carry tear gas on Saturday, but would be equipped with pepper spray and blast balls, KIRO-TV reports.
The protest also follows the 57th straight night of protesting in Portland, Oregon, whereon protesters. Many of the demonstrators in Portland on Friday night came prepared with gas masks, umbrellas and leaf blowers.