Editor’s note: This is a live account of updates from demonstrations and other events on Saturday, June 13, as the day unfolded.
It has been two and a half weeks since the death of George Floyd, a Black man who was killed May 25 by a white Minneapolis police officer who pressed his knee on Floyd’s neck for about eight minutes. The protests over Floyd’s death, police tactics and systemic racism continue, not just in Washington and the United States, but around the world.
Earlier this week, Seattle police took down barricades near the East Precinct on Capitol Hill and boarded up the building. Since then, protesters have claimed a few blocks of the streets nearby, calling it the Capitol Hill Autonomous Zone (CHAZ) or the Capitol Hill Occupied Protest (CHOP).
Along East Pine Street, between 10th Avenue East and 11th Avenue East, “BLACK LIVES MATTER” is painted in 19-foot block letters, spelling out the cause that’s brought thousands of people to this protest. The mural is a work in progress, with artists crafting their own work within each letter to express what the moment means to them. See their work up close and learn how it all came together.
Throughout Saturday, on this page, we’ll post updates from Seattle Times journalists and others on protests in the Seattle area. Updates from Friday can be found here.
If you’ve taken part in these protests, we’d like to hear from you: What has been your experience? What has being out there meant to you? Click here to let us know.
‘To see this, I am honored’: Brother of man killed by Seattle police reflects on time in CHAZ
Rick Williams was walking through the Seattle’s Capitol Hill Autonomous Zone when he stopped to read a sign, held by a person sitting near the entrance to Cal Anderson Park. The sign listed names of those killed by law enforcement officers in Washington state – more than a dozen on the cardboard.
“There he is,” Williams said Saturday night, pointing to the third name from the top. “There’s my brother.”
“John T. Williams,” the sign detailed, “killed by Seattle police.”
Thousands have descended on the CHAZ (also referred to as Capitol Hill Occupied Protest), the six-block area around the Seattle Police Department’s East Precinct taken over by demonstrators for the past week. John T. Williams’ name is brought up often, in conversations, chants and cardboard signs.
Read the full story here.
Inspired by the 1963 Birmingham Children’s Crusade, Seattle Children’s March draws on rich history of youth protest
It was here, at Garfield High School in 1961, that the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. delivered a speech on his only trip to Seattle.
So it was only logical that on Saturday, nearly 60 years later, the school would be the starting point for the Seattle Children’s March, a milelong protest inspired by the 1963 Birmingham Children’s Crusade, when thousands of kids skipped school to protest racist institutions and segregation.
“It is not about us adults,” said Toyia Taylor, an educator and motivational speaker who spearheaded the event with youth. “We cannot lead the way because we have already tried and we have already failed.”
The children at Saturday’s march, which wove through the city’s once predominantly Black Central District, did not face violent reaction from police while they demonstrated, unlike like their counterparts in 1963 Birmingham, Alabama. But they were connected, through the ages, by the same urge to start a revolution after bearing witness to racism and police brutality.
Read the full story here.
Hundreds take part in 'Bridge to the Future' march organized by Seahawks wives
MERCER ISLAND – Hundreds participated in the “Bridge to the Future” march Saturday afternoon. A multicultural crowd, many with small children, gathered at Aubrey Davis Park in Mercer Island, marched across the I-90 bridge and ended at East Portal Viewpoint Park in Seattle, where there was a moment of silence for George Floyd, the Black man killed in Minneapolis when a white police officer kneeled on his neck for 8 minutes and 46 seconds.
Saturday’s event was organized by friends Natalie Wright and Tiffany Chancellor, who are wives of Seattle Seahawks stars K.J. Wright and Kam Chancellor and also parents of young sons. As mothers, they were pained by footage of Floyd’s death and wanted to show support of the Black Lives Matter movement.
"Us as mothers of Black children, it really struck home for us, watching that," Wright said, citing the video of George Floyd's death.
The women -- Chancellor, 34, and Wright, 33 -- said they wanted their march to raise awareness about racial injustices to prompt conversation and prevent protests like theirs from being necessary when their children become adults.
Seahawks coach Pete Carroll was among those who participated.
Fox News admits mistakes with fake photos of CHAZ; issues correction and an apology
Remember those digitally altered and misleading photos shown on FoxNews.com that purportedly depicted scenes of armed anarchists and chaos at the Capitol Hill Autonomous Zone? The ones that The Seattle Times figured out were fake?
An editor at FoxNews.com on Saturday posted a correction and apology and said images have been taken down and replaced. The apology notes that a "recent slideshow" on the site depicting scenes from Seattle "mistakenly included a picture from St. Paul, Minnesota." That particular photo appeared to show the city ablaze and misled audiences to believe the mostly peaceful demonstrations on Capitol Hill were riotous.
The apology does not acknowledge that one of the photos appeared to have been digitally altered -- it looked to be a mashup of more than one photograph -- or that photojournalism experts considered the use of the misleading photos unethical.
The network’s inaccurate images were published as the Capitol Hill Autonomous Zone — quickly labeled CHAZ — became a political flashpoint for conservatives nationally and a target of tweets by President Donald Trump, who has branded the demonstrators “domestic terrorists” and threatened federal action unless local officials “take back” the area.
Here's the text of the correction:
"Editor's Note: A FoxNews.com home page photo collage which originally accompanied this story included multiple scenes from Seattle's "Capitol Hill Autonomous Zone" and of wreckage following recent riots. The collage did not clearly delineate between these images, and has since been replaced. In addition, a recent slideshow depicting scenes from Seattle mistakenly included an image from St. Paul, Minnesota. Fox News regrets the error."
Children's march brings attention to demands for a $1 billion for education, dismantle new jail
One purpose of the children's march is the bring attention to causes that will impact their futures. March organizers have drawn up a list of demands, that includes asking large corporations to redirect $1 billion toward education, and that the county dismantle its new youth jail. The march is proceeding up 23rd Avenue.
— Dahlia Bazzaz داليا البزاز (@dahliabazzaz) June 13, 2020
Children's March begins in Seattle; large crowd gathers to demand end to racism, police violence
A large crowd of parents, children and families have gathered on the athletic field behind Garfield High School in Seattle's Central District for the Seattle Children’s March. The march was inspired by the Birmingham Children’s Crusade of during the fight for voter and civil rights in 1963.
A large crowd has gathered, with the intent of marching about a mile to Bailey Gatzert Elementary School.
CHAZ or CHOP? Debate rages over name of protest zone on Capitol Hill
What's in a name?
The denizens of Seattle's protest-occupied area surrounding the abandoned Seattle Police East Precinct are debating that question right now.
The area surrounded the precinct at Pine Street and 12th Avenue was taken over earlier this week by thousands of protesters angry over the May 25 death of a Black man, George Floyd, under the knee of a white Minneapolis police officer. Seattle police boarded the building up and left following a series of mostly peaceful protests which were met with tear gas, pepper spray and other force. The protesters have stayed on, camping in Cal Anderson Park and naming the district the Capitol Hill Autonomous Zone, or CHAZ.
However, there is a growing debate -- at least on social media -- about whether that name is detracting from the real purpose of the protests: the Black Lives Matter (BLM) movement and the end of police racism and violence against the African-American community in particular and people of color generally. That group has proposed a new acronym: CHOP, standing for Capitol Hill Occupied Protest.
One string on the social media app Reddit states "CHAZ is now CHOP" and claims that "The protesters unanimously decide to Rebrand the movement over the last couple days in effort to dispel the claims of actually seceding from the nation and to recentralize the focus back to the BLM movement."
Comments ranged from philosophical to funky. When one protester suggested posting American flags around the area "to dispel accusations that we're against America." That was met with skepticism and a fiery quote from Malcom X about not being an American, but a "victim of Americanism."
Another asked, "Isn't this a leaderless movement? Who is deciding on all these name changes?"
Yet another poster welcomed the name change. "Good," they wrote. "CHAZ sounds like a ... hipster white guy."
Children's march against racism and police violence scheduled today at Garfield HS
A children's march protesting police violence and racism is scheduled to begin at 1 p.m. today at the Garfield High School track.
Organizers say the march was inspired by the Birmingham Children's Crusade march of 1963 in Alabama, an integral and decisive moment in the early Civil Rights Movement.
"Too long, black people and black children specifically have felt the weight of white supremacy, and they refuse to accept it," the organizers wrote. "The children are our future and they will be seen and heard."
The event is scheduled to last until 4 p.m. at the Garfield HS track, 23rd Avenue East and Cherry Street.
WSP leader says he's banning use of tear gas by troopers over COVID-19 concerns
The Washington State Patrol won’t be using tear gas on demonstrators during the coronavirus pandemic, the agency’s leader said Friday.
After Seattle and Olympia recently announced their bans on tear gas for dispersing protesters, Washington State Patrol (WSP) Chief John Batiste said he ordered the State Patrol to comply with those two cities’ directives.
In the meantime, a federal judge in Seattle has entered a temporary restraining order preventing police from using chemical agents or other force against peaceful protesters.
Batiste said he expanded the patrol's director over concerns by public health officials that tear gas could increase chances of COVID-19 spreading.
“In fact I’ve taken it a step further, to say that we will no longer use gas until further notice, particularly while we’re in this pandemic,” said Batiste. “We don’t want to be a part of spreading the COVID virus, and dealing with people’s immune systems.”
Batiste made the remarks during a news conference Friday at WSP training academy, where troopers also demonstrated crowd-control tactics and took questions about the agency’s tactics and response to the protests.
His announcement came after WSP deployed tear gas and other crowd-control devices early on during Seattle’s demonstrations after the death George Floyd while in custody of Minneapolis police officers.
Between May 30 and June 4, an average of about 71 troopers assisted Seattle police during daily George Floyd demonstrations in the city, with a high of 120 troopers deployed each day on May 31 and June 1, and a low of 25 troopers deployed June 4.
During the Seattle demonstrations, troopers tossed about 25 tear gas (CS) canisters and launched about 35 tear gas projectiles, according to statistics provided by WSP. State troopers also deployed about 850 rounds of pepper-spray balls, four smoke grenades, 86 blast-ball grenades, 10 pepper-spray canisters and 26 direct impact “bluenose” projectiles, according to the agency.
Read the full story here.
Seattle police seeking man they believe set a fire at the East Precinct
Seattle police detectives are seeking to identify a man suspected of setting a fire outside of the East Precinct early Friday morning.
Detectives have released a video they believe shows a man wearing a bright green or yellow sweatshirt and carrying a red container walking up to the east side of the building on 12th Avenue and Pine Street shortly before 3 a.m. The precinct was abandoned earlier this week by police after days of raucous protests, marked by some violence. Since then, the neighborhood around the empty police station has been occupied by protesters and devoid of uniformed officers. It has been named the "Capitol Hill Autonomous Zone" (CHAZ).
Detectives say it appeared that the suspect, who was wearing black pants and white shoes, poured liquid from the can along the exterior wall of the building and then walked away to the south. A few minutes later the same individual returned, lit something in his hand and dropped it, igniting the wall and the sidewalk, according to police, who provided a video of the incident taken from several hundred feet away.
Seattle police provided a blurry photograph of an individual they believe to be the arsonist taken from much closer distance, but did not explain how or where it obtained the picture.
The video shows the individual walking away as fire blossoms along the wall of the precinct. A short time later, people can be heard yelling "Fire!" and "Get water!" The SPD did not say whether the building was damaged or provide a damage estimate.
Anyone with information on this incident is asked to contact the Seattle Police Department Violent Crimes tip line at (206) 233-5000.
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