Seattle police arrested three people Friday night after reports of broken windows and graffiti at businesses in the Capitol Hill neighborhood.
Detectives are also investigating a small fire that broke out inside one of the businesses, according to a Seattle Police Department news release.
No injuries were reported.
The property damage and arrests came after about 100 protesters marched north along Broadway from Cal Anderson Park, the epicenter of recent racial injustice protests, police said.
Protesters carrying shields and wearing gas masks began walking the street around 10:20 p.m. Some drivers moved their vehicles between the protesters and police vehicles in an apparent attempt to impede officers, the statement said.
Video circulating on social media shows a line of three cars and a van slowly trailing the protesters. Officers on foot approach one of the cars, and an officer appears to ram a baton into a driver’s side window. Police surround that vehicle as it stops.
A police spokesperson did not immediately return a call seeking comment about the officer’s actions.
Three people were booked on investigation of rendering criminal assistance and released.
Comments on the video describe the trailing vehicles as a “car brigade” intended to protect protesters from dangerous drivers. On July 4, Summer Taylor was killed when a driver ran into protesters on Interstate 5 in Seattle.
Businesses were damaged along the Broadway retail corridor, in the 400 and 500 blocks, during the march, police said.
Two windows were broken at a UPS store and one at a T-Mobile store, employees said Saturday. New damage was not clearly visible on other businesses along Broadway.
At T-Mobile, an employee named Adam said he arrived to work around 9:30 a.m. to find one pane of a two-pane glass door broken and a large rock on the sidewalk. Around midday Saturday, the store’s manager was waiting to get through to Seattle police and to corporate offices to seek a repair. The rock had become a door stop to keep one of the store’s doors open to customers Saturday.
Down the block at a UPS store, two front windows had been shattered and two employees were sweeping up glass inside. Graffiti on the store’s front doors read, “Support the USPS.” The U.S. Postal Service in recent days warned that it may not be able to deliver completed ballots on time for the November election, amid cost-cutting at the agency.
“This is not the way to support the USPS,” said one employee, who gave only his last name, Gurung. “We take USPS packages. We ship for the USPS.”
The store is a family-owned franchise, said another employee.
Elsewhere along Broadway, some businesses have had windows boarded up since the start of the local coronavirus outbreak or early in local protests. Employees at several banks and stores along Broadway with some windows boarded up said they had not seen new damage overnight Friday.
Officers also responded around 1:15 a.m. Saturday to a report of people throwing something inside a business and starting a fire in the 1600 block of East Olive Way. According to police, a witness said he heard breaking glass and saw two people outside the building.
Firefighters arrived at the Starbucks on East Olive Way to find a broken window and “a bottle containing a flammable liquid that was burning on the floor,” the Seattle Fire Department said in an email. The fire “did not extend to the structure” and firefighters extinguished it before it caused significant damage, the department said.
The Starbucks had windows boarded up on Saturday.
Tensions flared again late Saturday afternoon in and around Cal Anderson Park. Police responded to a report of damage at 11th Avenue and East Olive Way, according to a tweet by the Seattle Police Department. Videos on social media show scuffles between a group of people and police. One person was arrested, according to the department.