Thirteen people were arrested during a peaceful march that turned into a violent protest on Wednesday night.
The Seattle Police Department claims that a group of protesters at Cal Anderson Park caused “occasional property damage” as they were marching towards 11 Avenue and Pine Street. At around 10:45 pm, a demonstrator threw an explosive that went through a roll-up gate and exploded near waiting bike officers by the East Precinct.
Officers identified and attempted to arrest the person who threw the explosive before being “assaulted with bottles and rocks.” In response, the police deployed pepper spray and blast balls “in an attempt to create space between the officers and the protesters.”
According to the SPD, multiple officers were injured, including one who was struck in the head with a baseball bat that cracked his helmet.
In total, 13 individuals were arrested for charges ranging from property destruction, resisting arrest and failure to disperse as well as assault on an officer.
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The protests last night followed the decision made by Kentucky prosecutors to not arrest the officers who opened fire on Breonna Taylor in March. The attorney general’s reasoning for the decision was that the police were justified in using force because they acted in self-defense. Only one officer was charged with three counts of wanton endangerment in the first degree for shooting into a neighbor’s apartment.
“[Sgt. Jonathan] Mattingly and [detective Myles] Cosgrove were justified in their return of deadly fire after having been fired upon by Kenneth Walker. Let me state that again. According to Kentucky law, the use of force by Mattingly and Cosgrove was justified to protect themselves,” said Attorney General Daniel Cameron during a press conference.
Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer released a statement reminding Americans that the “case is far from over.”
He said the FBI is still conducting its own investigation, which the Department of Justice will review to determine whether there was any violation of federal law, including Civil Rights violations, while the LMPD conducts a Professional Standards Unit investigation to determine if any policies and procedures were violated by officers involved in the case. The chief of police will use that report to determine if any officers need further training or discipline.