Police made about a dozen arrests in two separate demonstrations in Seattle Wednesday night. On Capitol Hill, protesters broke windows at three businesses, after which police rushed in from behind and arrested two people. In Eastlake, at the Washington State Patrol building, a separate group of demonstrators held a vigil. Police used pepper spray on the crowd. In total, 14 people were arrested, 12 of them booked into jail, the Seattle Police Department said Thursday.
The group in Eastlake, which uses the name the Every Day March, was gathered outside the State Patrol building, which sits next to a Seattle fire station. Around 9 p.m., lines of Seattle police officers stood between the protesters and the building — at East Roanoke Street and Harvard Avenue East — while the group chanted and waved signs, according to multiple livestreams.
While some demonstrators stood close to the police line, others arranged candles on the ground in memory of Summer Taylor, who was hit by a car and killed in July when protesters marched onto Interstate 5. They also placed roses and sunflowers next to the vigil, as they held a moment of silence.
Tensions started escalating before the arrests at the Eastlake protest after one officer stepped forward to ask the group to move some of the cars they said were blocking the street.
“Our concern is you’re creating safety hazards by blocking the roadway … I’d like you guys to voluntarily choose to move your vehicles but if you don’t we are going to bring tow trucks in and remove them,” the officer said.
The group refused, citing a right to protest.
“We are towing some cars out there that were blocking the intersection and making it really dangerous for people coming off the freeway,” police spokesperson Patrick Michaud said. “We’re opening it up and making it easier for people who are coming off the freeway at 60 miles per hour.”
As of 10:30 p.m., Michaud said three or four cars were being towed.
A group of cars — which protesters call their “car brigade” — became a regular addition to the Every Day March after Taylor’s death, which occurred when a driver plowed into demonstrators on a closed stretch of I-5. Now, protesters organize vehicles around them as protection.
Earlier Wednesday night, about 40 to 50 protesters gathered at Volunteer Park on Capitol Hill before marching along 15th Avenue, where some in the group broke windows at three businesses: Key Bank, Uncle Ike’s and Canterbury Ale House.
Several bystanders shouted at the protesters and shot video on their cell phones; protesters responded by shouting to not film and trying to block cameras. After the third business, the bank, was hit, police on bicycles rushed in and made two arrests. At one point after police arrived, a glass bottle with liquid inside and a piece of fabric attached was lying in the street. The group had mostly dispersed by around 9:30 p.m.