SEATTLE—In Seattle, Washington, there have been protests since May 25, after the death of George Floyd, who died in custody of Minneapolis Police Officer Derek Chauvin, and they have sparked violence and vandalism in the city.
On Sunday, August 9, two protests were held simultaneously in front of City Hall. One of them was organized by the Seattle Police Officers Guild in order to show their disagreement of the defunding of the Seattle Police which would be in discussion on Monday by the City Council. The other one was a counter-protest of people supporting the defunding of the police. According to a report of KOMO News, there was an alleged group of Proud Boys in the crowd.
In videos uploaded on social media by Jason Rantz, one of the hosts of KTTH radio, it can be seen how there were hundreds of people gathered chanting “SPD” with signs supporting the police. The videos also show counter-protesters with masks, umbrellas and signs with statements supporting the defunding of police, at the other side of the street. The crowds were shouting at each other. The counter-protesters were also seen shouting at the police, who were were separating the groups while holding batons and using their bicycles.
In a video uploaded by Rantz it can also be seen that people who were protesting against police officers were burning an American flag. The Seattle Times also reported altercations between people from both groups who allegedly got into a fist fight. After some hours, the rally organized by the Seattle Police Officers Guild ended, and counter-protesters were seen mobilizing through downtown. A video uploaded by Brendan Gutenschwager to twitter shows that a smoke grenade was thrown at them, and he said it was anonymously.
Later at night there was a Black Lives Matters protest in Cal Anderson Park. A video by Gutenschwager shows that they started mobilizing through Seattle. Then, vandalism took place at the First Hill neighborhood. In other videos uploaded by Gutenschwager, people with face coverings and umbrellas were recorded vandalizing and breaking into an Amazon store, breaking the windows at what he says was a Whole Foods Market and vandalizing a Starbucks and a Chase Bank.
According to KOMO News, glass was broken at a Chase Bank and at KeyBank. They said cleaning crews were cleaning up glasses and covering broken windows on Monday morning.