Police declare riot at Seattle protests, arrest 45


Seattle police declared a riot on Saturday following large demonstrations in the city’s Capitol Hill neighbourhood and deployed flash bangs and pepper spray to try to clear an area near where weeks earlier people had set up an “occupied protest zone” that stretched for several blocks.

Via Twitter, police said they had made 45 arrests for assault on officers, obstruction and failure to disperse. They also said they were “investigating a possible explosive damage” to the walls of the city’s East Precinct police station.

A gathering to condemn the use of federal troops in Oakland against those protesting in solidarity with Portland demonstrators, on Saturday. Pic/AP/AFP A gathering to condemn the use of federal troops in Oakland against those protesting in solidarity with Portland demonstrators, on Saturday. Pic/AP/AFP

Authorities said rocks, bottles, fireworks and mortars were thrown at officers as they attempted to clear the area over the course of several hours stretching into Saturday night. One officer was hospitalised with a leg injury caused by an explosive.

Thousands of protesters had initially gathered peacefully near downtown in a show of solidarity with fellow demonstrators in Portland, Oregon, where tensions with federal law enforcement have boiled over during protests stemming from the killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis.

Initially there was no sign of law enforcement near the Seattle march. Later, Seattle Police said about a dozen people breached the construction site for the King County youth detention facility.
Agencies

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