An off-duty Seattle police officer who drove her personal vehicle through a crowd of demonstrators on July 4 “is no longer employed” by the department, officials have confirmed.
It is not clear whether the officer, who has not been identified, was fired or resigned.
Seattle police Detective Mark Jamieson said an Office of Police Accountability internal investigation into the incident is ongoing.
Video footage of the incident shows demonstrators pausing at Boren Avenue and Olive Way in downtown Seattle to eat pizza just after midnight on July 4 when a blue sedan is seen making its way through the crowd. The driver heads east up Olive Way, then appears to circle back before the sedan is rammed by another car.
Organizers of the Black Lives Matter protests that erupted in the city since the police-custody death of George Floyd in Minneapolis said they had seen the officer “circling the protest while yelling hate speech” in the days leading up to the incident.
A post on the Seattle Police Department’s online Blotter said the driver “had attempted to drive through an opening in the crowd when the crowd surrounded their vehicle.”
The incident occurred about 90 minutes before two protesters were struck by a vehicle that entered southbound Interstate 5 going the wrong way, swerved around blocking vehicles, and drove at freeway speeds into a group of protesters, killing 24-year-old Summer Taylor and seriously injuring 32-year-old Diaz Love of Portland. Dawit Kelete, a 27-year-old Burien man, was arrested and charged.
Three weeks ago, a driver injured three protesters in Portland after speeding into a crowd of Black Lives Matter demonstrators. A driver ran his car into a crowd of demonstrators on Capitol Hill in early June, shooting a protester who reached into the vehicle. A DoorDash driver swerved through a crowd of protesters on Capitol Hill on June 30.