The police killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis sparked nationwide unrest and large demonstrations against police brutality to express sorrow, and in support of the Black community. Here’s how protests played out in Seattle and nationwide:
Monday, May 25: George Floyd, 46, is killed by Minneapolis police. Video shows Officer Derek Chauvin pressing his knee on Floyd’s neck for more than 8 minutes as Floyd repeatedly says “I can’t breathe,” and bystanders plead for Chauvin to stop.
Tuesday, May 26: After the video circulates online, four Minneapolis police officers are fired. Protesters in Minneapolis march and clash with police dressed in riot gear and using tear gas. Stores are looted. Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey calls for criminal charges against Chauvin.
Wednesday, May 27: Demonstrators skirmish with police in Minneapolis. Officers use tear gas and fire rubber bullets. Elsewhere, demonstrators close a Los Angeles freeway.
Thursday, May 28: Demonstrators torch a Minneapolis police station. Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz calls in the National Guard. Protests spread to New York City, Denver, Los Angeles, Memphis, Tennessee, and Louisville, Kentucky, among other cities.
Friday, May 29: Prosecutors file a third-degree murder charge against Chauvin. Protesters in Seattle’s Chinatown International District speak out against police brutality. Protesters throw fireworks. Seattle police in riot gear use pepper spray and flash bangs. After clashes, demonstrators smash windows on South Jackson Street. Police arrest several and punch one person on the ground. Protests spread nationwide.
Saturday, May 30: Peaceful protests turn to pandemonium on Seattle streets. Police use flash-bang grenades, pepper spray and tear gas to try to disperse crowds. Protesters march onto Interstate 5. Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan announces a 5 p.m. curfew. Protesters light police vehicles on fire. Looters break into downtown stores. Police arrest more than two dozen people.
Sunday, May 31: Volunteers clean up downtown Seattle, which remains under curfew order. Durkan and Seattle Police Chief Carmen Best face questions as protesters say police instigated violence. Police arrest several people and video shared on social media apparently shows an officer punch a person on the ground. Protesters march through Bellevue. Bellevue Square stores are looted. Bellevue imposes curfew and declares civil emergency. Olympia police face off with protesters and toss flash bangs. Gov. Jay Inslee activates National Guard.
Monday, June 1: Demonstrations continue in Seattle. Protesters smash windows at a University Village supermarket. At night, police stand off with protesters in Seattle’s Capitol Hill neighborhood. Police declare a riot, throw flash bangs and use tear gas. Police say crowd threw rocks and bottles, but video shows tensions escalating after an officer grabbed a pink umbrella from protesters as other cops used pepper spray.
Tuesday, June 2: Mayor Jenny Durkan promises to meet with protesters. Police Chief Carmen Best announces curfew extension through week’s end. Protests are peaceful during the day, but end in violence as police use tear gas and flash bangs after standoff on Capitol Hill.
Wednesday, June 3: Durkan and Best meet with protest organizers, who call for reducing police budget. City withdraws court filing to remove federal oversight of Seattle police. Officials lift curfew in Seattle. Three more officers are charged in Floyd’s death; Chauvin charge upgraded to second-degree murder. Peaceful protests continue into wee hours on Capitol Hill.
Thursday, June 4: Durkan rejects a 50% cut of the police budget. Best orders officers to display their badge numbers. At night, protests on Capitol Hill take on elements of a street party with music and stands with free hot dogs. Protests remain largely peaceful, though police later report two officers were hurt.
Friday, June 5: Public health officials say tear gas could exacerbate the COVID-19 pandemic. Chief Best bans use of tear gas for 30 days. Inslee orders review of man killed in March while being restrained by police in Tacoma. Seattle students shut down streets and call for reform of police and schools. Protests are mostly peaceful in Seattle.
Saturday, June 6: Medical workers march in support of demonstrators. Seattle City Councilmember Kshama Sawant calls for Durkan’s resignation. Bellevue police ban controversial neck restraint.
Sunday, June 7: A “March for Black Lives and to End violence” is scheduled to begin at 2 p.m. Sunday at Othello Park in Seattle.