Recap of updates from the Black Friday protest in downtown Seattle.
This is a report of the event as it unfolded on Friday, Nov. 27. For the full recap and images, see our story here. Here is what happened:
- Hundreds participated in a Black Lives Matter protest, which started at 1 p.m. in Westlake Park and moved through the downtown shopping district before returning to Westlake in time for the tree lighting.
- Protesters said the event was intended to “disrupt commerce and make economic hardship for those in power” on Black Friday.
- Four people were arrested outside two shopping malls, police said. One officer was injured outside Pacific Place.
- Police officials met with the Downtown Seattle Association and Seafair, which hosted the Westlake Holiday Tree Lighting Celebration Friday afternoon.
Protest winds down
After a six-hour demonstration, Black Lives Matter protesters are leaving the area around Westlake Park in downtown Seattle. Organizers said they plan to continue protesting through the holiday season.
Four people were arrested during the protest, according to Seattle police. A light was damaged and the plexiglass in a kiosk was broken.
“For the amount of protesters here and the amount of people who were downtown just enjoying the festivities – completely minor (damage),” police spokesman Sean Whitcomb said.
Holiday-tree lights come on, protest continues
The tree-light ceremony has ended, but protesters remain at Westlake Park. Some went across the street to Westlake Center and are trying to enter the shopping mall. Others are conducting a sit-in.
Protester: ‘I’m here to support other people’
Sofia Simonton Seigel explains why she joined a friend at the protest:
Preparing for holiday-tree lighting
Protesters are at Westlake Park, where the Westlake Holiday Tree Lighting Celebration is scheduled to start at 5 p.m. The tree-lighting ceremony begins at 5:25 p.m.
About 35,000 people are expected to attend, according to the Seattle transportation department.
Police have set up a perimeter around the tree.
Protester: ‘The killing has to stop’
Marilyn Covarrubias, whose son Daniel was fatally shot by Lakewood officers in April, said she decided to join the protest because she thinks “the system has to change. The police have to be trained better and people are afraid of the police now.” Daniel Covarrubias, 37, died after he was shot by police officers while he hid in a pile of wood at a lumberyard. Police said he pointed his cellphone at them as if it were a gun.
When asked how her life has changed since April 21, the day her son was killed, she replied:
I wake up in the morning crying and I go to sleep crying, that’s how my life has changed.
Some protesters clash with police
Seattle police are telling protesters at Sixth Avenue and Pine Street that they have to march on the sidewalk or with traffic.
Police said the officer with a dislocated shoulder was injured when the “crowd interfered with arrest at Pacific Place.”
Protesters: We’re here ‘because black lives matter’
“My son deserves the same chance in this country as everyone else. And I’m here to make sure that that happens. If I change three minds today, then I’ve done my job. My son is not dangerous, my husband is not dangerous, my uncle is not dangerous. We deserve to live.”
– Angel Mitchell, 25, mother of 5-year-old son
“Everyone out here is getting their consumerism on and not paying attention to the things that matter. They’re out here buying trinkets and things, when there’s more important things like racism.”
– Jessica Smart, member of Socialist Alternative
Officer injured, protesters enter another store
An officer at the protest is receiving emergency treatment for a possible dislocated shoulder, according to Seattle police.
Protesters have entered Forever 21, a clothing store in downtown Seattle.
‘Mostly peaceful’ crowd continues to grow, 1 more arrested
The number of Black Lives Matter protesters has grown to about 700, according to Seattle Assistant Police Chief Robert Merner. He called the crowd “mostly peaceful.”
A third protester was arrested at Pacific Place, police said.
Police report two arrests outside Westlake Center
Two protesters have been arrested outside Westlake Center, according to the Seattle Police Department. One person was allegedly trying to break windows, another was arrested on suspicion of assaulting an officer.
Protesters leave Macy’s, try to enter Westlake Center
Police are blocking protesters from entering Westlake Center, which closed early during last year’s Black Friday because of a protest. Security officers have locked the doors.
Demonstration moves to downtown Macy’s
The Black Lives Matter protesters have entered the downtown Macy’s store. Last year, Westlake Center closed early on Black Friday because of a protest.
Protesters marching down Fifth Avenue
Crowd grows, march moving through downtown Seattle
About 400 protesters have started their march through downtown Seattle. Protest organizers don’t have a permit, so the route is unclear. Drivers should expect delays around Fifth Avenue and Pine Street, according to the Seattle Department of Transportation.
Protesters crowd into Westlake Park
Reporter Jennifer Sullivan tweeted these images:
Protesters arrive at Westlake Park
By 12:30 p.m. Friday, about 30 protesters had gathered in Westlake Park. A group held up a long black banner, reading “#BlackLivesMatter Hold Police accountable End racism Justice for Mike Brown Seattle.” Others sat on the ground in a silent protest. More held up photos of people slain by police across the country.
One man, a protester who goes by the name Mohawk Kuzma, held a megaphone. Kuzma, during a news conference this week, identified himself as an organizer of Friday’s protest.
The protesters set up against a fenced-in area near the holiday carousel. Shoppers stopped to take photos of the protesters and the police. Seattle police bike officers and three mounted horse patrol officers, as well as patrol officers in bright yellow safety vests, were spread across Westlake Park.
Seattle police Capt. Chris Fowler said staffing this year is higher than at last year’s Black Friday protests, and more officers are walking the area.