Police and protesters outside City Hall in Downtown Bellevue
May 31 riots
A protest took place in Bellevue on May 31, 2020. A Seattle television news station reported "protesters also were smashing windows, looting and throwing projectiles" and Interstate 405 was closed through downtown Bellevue. During the protests, "dozens of people" characterized by another Seattle television station as "looters" broke into Bellevue Square, the largest shopping mall in Bellevue, which was closed due to the coronaviruspandemic.
The Mayor of Bellevue, Lynne Robinson, declared a civil emergency and curfew in Downtown Bellevue on May 31, and requested the governor to mobilize the Washington National Guard to the city.
Police chief Steve Mylett stated that the looters and rioters had joined a small group of peaceful protesters before they committed their crimes. "They were not there to protest the tragic death of George Floyd. They were there to destroy," said the chief. He explained that officers had learned on Saturday that gang members had planned to "cause trouble" at a planned peaceful protest, adding that he welcomed peaceful protesters.
The protests in Bellevue and elsewhere led to a statewide expansion of the National Guard callup on May 31, previously limited to 600 guardsmen sent to Seattle only. On June 1, the National Guard secured Bellevue Square.
Issaquah: About 500 residents marched through Olde Town toward City Hall on June 12.
Kirkland: A march of 75 to 100 people through the downtown area on June 1; "about half of all businesses in downtown Kirkland" boarded up their storefronts on Central Way; and "a dozen or so middle aged white men" with semiautomatic rifles were televised on the streets.
North Bend: On June 7, at least 400 protesters filled several busy intersections downtown at a protest organized by Stand in Solidarity Snoqualmie Valley.
On May 29, a vigil occurred at the Bellingham Public Library where a memorial was set up. A march took place in Bellingham the following day. On June 2, a small gathering took pace at the library memorial while several hundred protesters gathered at Railroad Avenue and Holly Street.
On June 6, about 7,000 protesters gathered at Maritime Heritage Park.
On June 28, hundreds of protesters marched from Maritime Heritage Park to City Hall commemorating the 51st anniversary of the Stonewall riots and calling on the city to "defund the police." After most protesters has left, a small group remained, taking down and burning the American flags which had flown at City Hall and graffitiing the entrance.
Chelan: A protest and vigil were held on June 7, starting at Riverwalk Park and moving along the sidewalks downtown. While the protest called for systemic change, the organizers made it clear that the protest was not in opposition to local law enforcement.
Leavenworth: A 2.5 mile march followed by the singing of Amazing Grace, and a candlelight 8 minute 46 second moment of silence was observed by 1,300 in the city of Leavenworth, in Chelan County, Washington, on June 5.
Wenatchee: Several hundred people, most of whom wearing masks to prevent the spread of COVID-19, gathered in Memorial Park on the weekend of June 1. On June 6, more than 1,000 protesters gathered in Memorial Park. Armed spectators also gathered and intimidated the crowd after local state legislator Cary Condotta posted on Facebook calling on citizens to be "armed and ready" for the protest.
Yakima: On June 1, hundreds of people expressed their frustration about George Floyd in the streets of Yakima. On June 3, about 100 protesters gathered for a solidarity demonstration downtown for the fifth straight day.
Ellensburg: Hundreds of demonstrators attended marches and other events in Ellensburg through the week of June 1. One protest was on June 2, the reported third such march on June 6.
Moses Lake: About 300 people gathered for a protest and vigil at Paul Lauzier Memorial Athletic Park on June 7.
Omak: 400-500 people were estimated at a march in downtown Omak on the evening of June 4.
Pasco: Hundreds gathered at a busy intersection on May 31. Protesters lay in the street for eight minutes then marched to the Pasco Police Station.
Richland: More than 200 protesters gathered at John Dam Plaza and marched along George Washington Way on May 30.
Spokane: Over 1,000 people marched in a peaceful protest in Riverfront Park to the Spokane County Courthouse on the afternoon of May 31. After the organized protest concluded, around 200 individuals wandered to congregate at the Federal Building where clashes with police began. A curfew was put in place, and tear gas and rubber bullets were used by the police after the Nike store was looted. Police secured the downtown core shortly before midnight.
Walla Walla: Hundreds of protesters gathered in downtown Walla Walla on May 31.
Bremerton: Protests began in Bremerton on May 31. Hundreds protested at Evergreen Rotary Park on June 8.
Silverdale: Protesters gathered along Bucklin Hill Road on June 6. Protesters were confronted by J.J. Meland, a local resident who owns a restaurant on the road where protesters had gathered; he held a taser and asked protesters to leave. Meland later invited the protesters to a community gathering at his restaurant at which he apologized.
Winslow: Hundreds of demonstrators gathered at the intersection of Highway 305 and Winslow Way on June 4.
On May 30, over 150 gathered at the Washington State Capitol in Olympia. In the days following the protest a fake advertisement circulated around social media titled "Get Paid to be a Professional Anarchist," featuring Antifa symbolism and listing the contact information for the Thurston County Democrats. On June 5, a photograph of an Olympia Police officer posing with a group of armed civilians making a hand gesture associated with the Three Percenters group was shared on Twitter and Facebook. The police department announced it would investigate the photograph, for which Interim Police Chief Aaron Jelcick apologized.
Aberdeen: On June 14, about 40 anti-police brutality demonstrators gathered for a protest downtown but were outnumbered by about 100 counter-protesters, many of whom were armed. Protesters reported being harassed, being spat upon and called racial slurs by some of the counter-protesters. One protester claimed a man threatened to shoot her in the face while she called the police for help.
Forks: On June 7, about 200 people gathered for a protest led by Quileute, Quinault, Hoh, and Klallam natives. This protest was just days after an incident in Forks in which a mixed-race family was followed into the woods and harassed during a camping trip after being mistaken for Antifa.
Hoquiam: The mayor and police department joined a protest in solidarity with Black Lives Matter on May 31.
As of June 8, 2020[update] there were eleven straight days of "major protests" in Seattle and Washington State, according to The Seattle Times and other news outlets. Associated Press reported the ongoing protests were "among the largest the city has seen in years".
Eye-level view of the Seattle Interstate 5 protest on May 30
Eye-level view of the Interstate 5 protest on May 30
A larger demonstration was organized and held on May 30 at Westlake Park, joined by thousands from a protest at police headquarters, and evolved into a standoff between protesters and police. Leading to acts of looting and arson all around Seattle, among them the Nordstrom flagship store. Protesters also blocked Interstate 5 in both directions.
Protesters removed two AR-15 rifles from an abandoned police cruiser.Q13 Fox News correspondent Brandi Kruse reported that a rioter was firing one of the weapons into vehicles. A security guard hired by the news crew drew his pistol on the protesters and seized the weapons. Seattle Police Department reported that two rifles were returned without having been fired; KIRO TV and other media reported that at least one of the rifles was fired during the riot while out of police control. A KIRO reporter reported hearing "explosions" during the afternoon of May 30. Sometime in the afternoon a child was allegedly sprayed with riot control agent by a police officer; the incident was reported as under review by the Seattle Office of Police Accountability on June 2.
On this day, while Seattle police were attempting to detain looters, a white suspect was restrained with an officer's knee on his neck for 13 seconds while bystanders urged the officer to stop. This continued until a second officer intervened to push the first officer's knee to the suspect's back. This was documented on video. George Floyd himself had died after being restrained with a knee on his neck during an arrest. According to The Huffington Post, further video footage showed that the same Seattle officer had just used his knee on the neck of another white looting suspect.
Protests continued on May 31. A cleanup effort was organized to support businesses in Downtown and the International District.
Capitol Hill clashes
On June 1, police and protesters clashed in Cal Anderson Park on Capitol Hill after hours of demonstrations and a march to the Seattle PD East Precinct.
Protesters on Capitol Hill began using umbrellas to shield themselves from tear gas, adopting a tactic used during Hong Kong's Umbrella Revolution. A pink umbrella used by a protester was taken by police, causing more umbrellas to appear the following day.
Protesters in downtown Seattle
On June 2, a protest led by activists Rashyla Levitt and David Lewis marched from Westlake Park to Seattle City Hall with the intention of forcing Mayor Jenny Durkan to exit the building and talk to the activists. After an hour and a half Durkan spoke to the protesters and agreed to meet with leaders of the movement the next day. This was the first time Durkan had spoken to protesters after five days of demonstrations. Many protesters were unfamiliar with Levitt and Lewis; Black Lives Matters released a statement that they had no affiliation with the pair. Suspicions over Levitt and Lewis were first reported by Seattle journalist Erica C. Barnett and quickly escalated to accusations of Lewis and Levitt being either police "plants" working against the movement, or simply naive novices who were "in over their head." Both Levitt and Lewis denied being police collaborators and no evidence proving their guilt has been provided. Levitt stated that she did not initially intend to be a leader and had been receiving death threats since the rumors began. After the June 3 meeting with leaders of the protests that Levitt and Lewis initiated, Durkan ended the citywide curfew and announced the city's withdrawal from ending the consent decree on the SPD. On June 29 Levitt had a physical altercation with Fox News reporter Dan Springer and was arrested on July 1 during the police clearance of the Capitol Hill Autonomous Zone.
On June 5, Mayor Durkan announced a 30-day ban on police use of tear gas, saying officers "do not need to be using tear gas at protests as a crowd management tool."
In light of the 30 day ban on tear gas, on June 6 Seattle police used pepper spray and blast balls to disperse protesters outside the East Precinct on Capitol Hill. City Council President Lorena González criticized the police response, tweeting "This is NOT what de-escalation looks like!"
On June 7, during a demonstration at the East Precinct on Capitol Hill, a man, later identified as Nikolas Fernandez, drove a black Honda Civic into the crowd. As the vehicle was in motion, protester Daniel Gregory reached in the driver's side window. Fernandez then shot Gregory in the arm, exited the vehicle and ran past the barricades to the police line. Fernandez, whose brother works at the East Precinct, shot Gregory with a Glock 26 that had extended magazines taped together jungle style.
Later that evening (on June 7), police "unleashed a barrage of tear gas and flash bangs" on a crowd outside the East Precinct on Capitol Hill despite the 30 day ban on tear gas. Police Chief Carmen Best defended the use of tear gas, saying that the 30 day ban exempts SWAT officers and “life safety issues.” City Councilwoman Kshama Sawant was among the victims and claimed that there was no provocation from protesters before tear gas was deployed. The following day, Kshama Sawant alongside fellow Councilwomen Teresa Mosqueda and Tammy Morales, called upon Mayor Jenny Durkan to resign over the way the city has handled the protests.
Street mural in the Capitol Hill Autonomous Zone created by local artists depicting the message "Black Lives Matter"
Early in the afternoon on June 8, police began removing all items of value from the East Precinct on Capitol Hill, preparing for the possibility that the East Precinct may need to be abandoned, as happened on May 28 in Minneapolis. The streets surrounding the precinct were reopened and protesters marched up to the precinct that evening. After police withdrew from the East Precinct of Seattle, six blocks adjacent to it were walled off by protesters with barricades to prevent another vehicle attack. The six blocks around the East Precinct were declared by protesters to be the Capitol Hill Autonomous Zone.
An expose by The Seattle Times on June 12 found that Fox News had digitally altered photographs of the Capitol Hill Autonomous Zone to include a man armed with an assault rifle. The Fox News website also used a photograph of a burning scene from the Minnesota protests to illustrate their articles on Seattle's protests.
June 12 general strike
After meeting with Mayor Jenny Durkan on June 6, Black Lives Matter Seattle-King County called for a statewide general strike and silent protest march on June 12. The demands of the protest would be for police to keep their body cams on during protests and stop the sweeps of homeless camps, and for the City of Seattle to divest $100 million of the police budget used for militarization of police and invest the money into social services, to drop their lawsuit against King County over the inquest process, to require that "'Community Oversight' be a part of the police contract bargaining process," and to develop and fund a Black Commission to address racial issues going forward.
In the days leading up to the protest, occupiers of the Capitol Hill Autonomous Zone painted a giant colorful mural spelling out "Black Lives Matter" on East Pine Street.
Many Seattle businesses closed for the day or closed early because of the general strike and to allow their employees to leave work and attend the protest. About 60,000 joined Black Lives Matter Seattle/King County for the silent protest march on June 12.
Hundreds gathered on June 18, the eve of Juneteenth, for a vigil in Magnuson Park in remembrance of Charleena Lyles, a pregnant mother of four who was shot and killed at home in her apartment by Seattle police exactly three years prior in 2017.
Local activist Andre Taylor, whose brother was killed by Seattle police in 2016, held a rally on June 19 in Judkins Park which was attended by Mayor Durkan and King County Executive Dow Constantine.
Thousands of people marched through the historically black Central District to Jimi Hendrix Park chanting "black lives matter." The march was organized by the King County Equity Now Coalition, a group which called upon the City of Seattle to divest $180 million from the police budget and invest $50 million of that into the local black community. While the Central District is historically black due to redlining and racial covenants, in recent years much of the neighborhood's black community has been pushed out by gentrification and a rising cost of living in the city.
Late that night, at 2:20 a.m., two people were shot in Cal Anderson Park within the boundaries of the Capital Hill Occupied Protest zone. A 19-year-old man died and a second man was in critical condition in the Intensive Care Unit with life-threatening injuries. Seattle police attempted to respond but were, according to the police blotter, "met by a violent crowd that prevented officers safe access to the victims." The victims were taken by a CHOP medic to Harborview Medical Center because city medics were not allowed into the protest zone. As of June 21, the suspect remains at large and Seattle police have not released any description of the suspect.
July 4 freeway protest
On the early morning of July 4, a car drove onto a closed section of Interstate 5, where several people were protesting, and struck two white protesters. 23-year-old Summer Taylor from Seattle was killed, while 32-year-old Diaz Love of Portland, Oregon, who was live-streaming the protest on Facebook, remained in critical condition at Harborview Medical Center. A graphic video posted on social media showed the driver, a black man later identified as Dawit Kelete of Seattle, speeding into the crowd around 1:40a.m. He parked at a distance down the road, but the protesters chased him for about a mile, and Kelete retreated further to wait for police. He was arrested on two counts of vehicular assault. The Washington State Patrol announced it would no longer allow protesters to enter I-5.
South King County
Protesters gather in front of Auburn City Hall on June 2
Renton: More than 200 people protested peacefully for four hours outside Renton City Hall on June 1. Protesters laid on the ground face down for nine minutes. Firearms including shotguns and semiautomatic rifles were displayed in public during protests in Renton on June 2.
Tukwila: On June 7, more than 50 protesters marched along Interurban Avenue S. from the Tukwila Community Center to the Riverside Inn.
In neighboring Lake Forest Park, Washington, local activist group Lake Forest Park for Peace resumed their weekly protests on June 6. The group had held weekly protests since 2002 against wars in Afghanistan and Iraq but had gone on hiatus due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Anacortes: About 80 people gathered to protest on May 30 on Commercial Avenue. At the end of the demonstration protesters blocked a busy intersection and a woman was injured after a man attempted to drive through the crowd. The following weekend, on June 6, several hundred protesters lined the streets.
Burlington: More than 200 protesters gathered on Burlington Boulevard on June 4. In a parking lot adjacent to the boulevard, onlookers stood by, "one of them well-armed with a large military-style weapon and ammunition in full view" and identifying himself as a member of the Skagit Militia. The militia did not confront protesters and the protest was peaceful.
Mount Vernon: About 30 people gathered for a rally on the 4th Street Bridge on Juneteenth.
Arlington: A crowd of protesters gathered in Legion Park on June 12.
Edmonds: Small protests have been held daily on Edmonds Way in the Westgate neighborhood of Edmonds. Hundreds of protesters gathered near Meadowdale High School on the evening of June 3. Upwards of 1,000 people marched in a silent protest around Downtown Edmonds on June 12 in solidarity with a simultaneous Black Lives Matter silent protest march.
Everett: On June 6, around 800 protesters marched through the streets towards the Everett Municipal Building, where an eight minute, forty-six second moment of silence was held. A group of black speakers, led by protest organizer Michael Larson, then shared stories about their experiences with racism and rallied in honor of George Floyd.
Lake Stevens: On June 4, hundreds gathered in Lundeen Park in Lake Stevens. One of the organizers, a senior at Lake Stevens High School, said "I just wanted to do this because Lake Stevens has never really had our community come together like this, especially at this time."
Lynnwood: Protesters lined the streets near Beverly Elementary School on June 3 for a protest organized by the school's parent–teacher association. Hundreds gathered on June 19 for a protest march in the College Place neighborhood, marching to the Edmonds School District office. The protesters commemorated Juneteenth and called upon the school district to take more initiative in promoting diversity as well as remove police from their schools.
Marysville: Hundreds of protesters gathered in Jennings Park on June 11 and marched to Ebey Waterfront Park.
Monroe: On June 4, hundreds gathered on Main Street in Monroe and marched to Lake Tye, where members of the community gave speeches.
Mountlake Terrace: Between 300 and 400 protesters marched in a silent protest along 52nd Avenue on June 12, during the statewide general strike organized by Black Lives Matter.
Snohomish: Local nonprofit group Snohomish for Equity held rallies in town beginning May 25 and by May 30 the rallies drew crowds of more than 200 people. On May 31, after rumors spread of a threat from Antifa, hundreds of armed men gathered in the downtown area, many of whom were affiliated with far right groups and at least one which flew a Confederate flag from his pickup truck. The local police chief described the gathering as "festive" and later resigned after his description of the event drew criticism.
Stanwood: On May 28 a lone protester, 17-year-old Mercedez Gonzalez stood in the rain holding a sign calling for an end to police brutality. She continued her protest each day and was met with both support and opposition from the community. On May 31, Gonzalez was attacked with coffee; on June 2 one driver threw hamburger buns at protesters and another waved a gun while driving past them. By June 3 more than 20 people had joined the protest.
Centralia: About 40 people gathered in George Washington Park on May 31.
Chehalis: Inspired by the demonstration in nearby Centralia, upwards of 300 people gathered and knelt at the Lewis County Courthouse on June 1. The protests continued the following weekend with about 100 people protesting outside Vernetta Smith Chehalis Timberland Library on June 6.
La Center: The Oregonian reported a small group of protesters seen on June 14.
Vancouver: Around a hundred people gathered in Esther Short Park on May 31 for a peaceful protest. Vancouver Police were present as well as at the Vancouver Mall in anticipation of violence, as looting had been reported in nearby Portland, Oregon. About a dozen protesters continued their protest the next day at a roundabout near city hall. About 50 people gathered in Vancouver Central Park calling for racial justice on June 8 at a rally organized by Southwest Washington Communities United for Change. The same day, about a hundred students from Columbia River High School gathered at the corner of Northeast Hazel Dell Avenue and Northeast 99th Street wearing their caps and gowns and chanted "Black lives matter."
Washougal: A rally for black lives was held on June 6. Across the street from the rally firearms retailer hosted an armed group that was seen in front of the business and on the rooftop. The store denied accusations of racism, citing the store-owner's Vietnamese American heritage.
Hundreds marched in Tacoma on May 30. The Washington National Guard was deployed to protect the City-County building in Tacoma on June 4 through June 8.
Langley: The weekly lunch hour protest organized by local group People of Whidbey Elegantly Resisting (POWER) shifted its focus to Black Lives Matter. About 160 people showed up for the protest on June 7 and 98 people showed up on June 14. The weekly protest was previously a general anti-Trump protest, with focuses in support of sanctuary cities, women's rights and gun control.
Oak Harbor: On May 30, more than 50 protested in dismal weather at the intersection of Highway 20 and Beeksma Drive. Several hundred protesters attended a rally the following week.
The Seattle Office of Police Accountability issued a statement that about 12,000 individual complaints had been received regarding the police department's conduct during the weekend.
The following is a list of ten specific incidents that received the most number of complaints.[a]
Radical Left Governor @JayInslee and the Mayor of Seattle are being taunted and played at a level that our great Country has never seen before. Take back your city NOW. If you don’t do it, I will. This is not a game. These ugly Anarchists must be stooped IMMEDIATELY. MOVE FAST!
President Donald Trump has criticized the response of Governor Jay Inslee and Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan, claiming that they have not been effective in dealing with protesters, especially regarding the Capitol Hill Autonomous Zone and the Seattle police's abandonment of the East Precinct. Trump has threatened to retake the city if local leaders do not reassert their authority. Weeks later, in the early morning of July 1, Mayor Durkan issued an executive order declaring an end to the zone and authorizing police to clear the area. The police cleared the protest zone and retook the East Precinct soon-after.
Following a large and peaceful demonstration on June 3, the City of Seattle announced several changes to its policing protocols, including restrictions on badge coverings for officers.
The Seattle City council voted unanimously on June 15 to demilitarize the police department by banning the purchase and use of crowd control weapons including tear gas, pepper spray, flashbang grenades and rubber bullets.
The city council also voted to prohibit the use of "choke holds" by Seattle Police.
City Attorney Pete Holmes announced that the city would withdraw its request to lift a federal consent decree that had been imposed following a U.S. Department of Justice investigation in 2012. The city government also announced a 30-day ban on the use of tear gas by police on protesters in response to outcry from Capitol Hill residents who had been affected by its use. The ban did not apply to SWAT and other special officers, however, and tear gas was used the following day.
The City of Bellevue announced on June 5 it would no longer allow neck restraints.
Seattle Mayor Durkan ordered a 5:00 pm curfew on May 30, 2020, which was later extended for a week. The curfew was withdrawn on June 3, following meetings between the city governments and local protest organizers.
Police and National Guard on Capitol Hill in Seattle on June 3
At least 55 people were arrested in Seattle during the May 30 riots.
On June 7, a man was arrested near the East Precinct on Capitol Hill in Seattle after he drove into a protest and shot a protester.
On the morning of June 11, a Tacoma woman was arrested by federal authorities in full SWAT gear for burning 5 police cars during the May 30 riot in Seattle.
At least 23 people were arrested by Spokane police for participating in the May 31 looting in Downtown Spokane. Fifteen of those arrested were arrested on the night of May 31 and at least 8 more were arrested following police investigation.
At least 23 people were arrested in June by Bellevue police for participating in the May 31 riots.
On the morning of July 1, 44 people were arrested in Seattle for refusing to disperse as Seattle police retook the East Precinct and cleared the Capitol Hill Organized Protest zone. That night, 25 more people were arrested near Broadway and East Pine. The following night, on July 2, three people were arrested outside the West Precinct in the Denny Triangle and then later that night seven more were arrested near Broadway and East Pine Street.
A man was arrested on July 4 and charged with two counts of vehicular assault after driving into a crowd of protesters on I-5 in Seattle, killing one protester and critically injuring another.
In order to find violent and destructive agitators the fbi monitored the protests and provided intelligence to the Seattle Police Department.