Seattle police say they will work with federal authorities in seeking out more people who caused injuries and property damage during Sunday’s anti-capitalist march.
Seattle police said Monday they were working with federal and regional law-enforcement agencies to “identify, investigate, and bring charges” against what the department described as dangerous people who inflicted injuries and damage during Sunday evening’s May Day anti-capitalist march.
Police Chief Kathleen O’Toole, in a statement posted on the department’s news website, said Seattle police have formed a task force that will collaborate with the FBI and federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, as well as other partners, to seek out additional people in addition to the nine who were arrested Sunday.
O’Toole said “we will work to pursue federal charges and or local charges as appropriate.”
The move represents a more aggressive stance than previous years, when May Day-related prosecutions were generally carried out in King County and city of Seattle courts.
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“While we made as many arrests as we safely could, we will not tolerate acts of violence against people or property,” O’Toole said.
O’Toole noted the peaceful nature of the May Day March for Workers and Immigrant Rights that occurred Sunday afternoon, calling it a “great example” of people expressing their First Amendment rights.
“Unfortunately, individuals during a second evening march engaged in behavior that caused injuries and damage to property,” she said.
Five police officers, including three hospitalized at Harborview Medical Center, were injured during the anti-capitalist march.
All were at home recovering from their injuries Monday, police said.
One officer was bitten in the arm while arresting a suspect who attempted to assault him, police said. Another was hit by a Molotov cocktail, while a third was struck in the face by a rock thrown from the crowd, according to police.
Two other officers sustained minor injuries and did not require hospitalization.
Police said they are still documenting property damage in downtown Seattle, including reports three cars were vandalized near Second Avenue and Bell Street.
Windows were shattered at a coffee shop at Fourth Avenue and Pine Street and a bank at Second Avenue and Cherry Street, police said.
A Roman candle fired from the crowd reportedly damaged a window at a residential building at Fourth Avenue and Virginia Street, police said.
Four men appeared Monday in court, where they were ordered held in lieu of bail ranging from $10,000 to $20,000. Two were from Seattle, one from Renton and one from Tacoma.
All were arrested for investigation of assaulting police officers, including one accused in the biting incident. The Seattle Times is not naming them because King County prosecutors are still weighing whether to bring charges.
The Seattle City Attorney’s Office is reviewing two cases and might consider more, a spokesman said.
Seattle FBI Special Agent In Charge Frank Montoya Jr. said Sunday the FBI that morning questioned a man in Eastern Washington and seized items that could be used for incendiary devices.
It wasn’t immediately clear how the FBI action related to the May Day events, but Montoya said social media played a part in his agents’ contacting the person, who was not arrested.
FBI spokeswoman Ayn Dietrich-Williams said Monday in an email that a search warrant was served in Selah, Yakima County, on Sunday.
“However, because the search warrant is sealed … there’s nothing more I can disclose,” she said.
Police employed new tactics during the anti-capitalist march, which began at Westlake Park in downtown Seattle.
Unlike previous years, officers quickly herded several hundred black-clad protesters out of Seattle’s business district, using a choreographed rolling blockade of bicycle officers and vans to shuttle cops in riot gear ahead of the crowd to cut off escape routes.
Before the night was over, the protesters had been marched out of downtown and into the city’s Sodo industrial area, where fewer targets for destruction were available. Officers at times doused demonstrators with pepper-spray and fired “blast-balls” to control and disperse the crowd.
One protester complained publicly Monday.
“I’m pissed off at SPD,” said Mohawk Kuzma. “They blatantly violated our First Amendment rights. We hadn’t done anything yet and they set up a line of riot officers at Fifth (Avenue) and Pine (Street) blocking us from downtown. They wouldn’t let us go where we wanted even in a peaceful manner, and they corralled us four miles out from Westlake, basically treating us like cattle.”
All use of force by officers during the evening will be reviewed, police said.