Black Lives Matter activists, joined by Seattle City Councilmember Kshama Sawant, rallied Saturday in front of King County Superior Court to call for the release of a fellow protester as she appeared in court.

An activist involved in recent massive uprisings against police brutality, the woman was arrested Friday for investigation of felony harassment, according to jail records. No charges have yet been filed.

At the protest, a crowd of more than 20 gathered at the courthouse’s Fourth Avenue entrance, led a march and kept tabs on their friend’s court proceedings as they unfolded.

According to police documents, officers responded to a call at 4:15 p.m. Friday from a security guard who said he had heard a disturbance at the Central District T-Mobile store, where he encountered a conflict between employees and a customer, a woman he described as making death threats. At one point, the security guard, convinced the woman was armed, went to his vehicle to get a pistol, according to the documents. The woman left in her own vehicle and was arrested soon after.

Jail records show she was booked into King County Jail shortly after 6 p.m. Friday.

According to a relative of the jailed activist, the woman had gone to make a purchase and was profiled and harassed by employees and later by a security guard, who called the police.


Reached by phone, an employee at the 23rd and Jackson T-Mobile store confirmed the incident, but did not provide details of what had transpired.

The activist’s predicament drew the attention of City Councilmember Kshama Sawant, who joined protesters Saturday in lobbying the judge for the woman’s release.

Given recent mass uprisings in the wake of George Floyd’s death, said Sawant, “You would think that the ruling class would watch what they’re doing … well, this is another reminder a change is not going to come through a few days of incredible movement-building.” She said further action was needed.

The activist’s supporters regarded it as a victory that she was released without bail. She was expected to leave the jail Saturday, with a second court appearance set for July 1.