Police provided public safety services and traffic control today during two scheduled demonstrations occurring simultaneously within close proximity of each other near City Hall.
The incident was led by West Precinct Captain Tom Mahaffey. During roll call this morning, Captain Mahaffey informed all assigned officers verbally and in writing of his intent for the demonstrations.
“We will facilitate, in a content-neutral manner, the rights of all gathered, the freedom to assemble and express their views within the limited conditions necessary to address public safety concerns. Acting within the scope of our training and in accordance with the law, prevent violence, and maintain public order by effectively keeping opposing groups separated.”
The event started with members of one group occupying City Hall Plaza, which had been reserved for exclusive use by the second group, who had been granted a Special Events Permit by the City of Seattle.
It should be noted that a Special Events Permit is not needed to demonstrate, but can be used to reserve a public space for a set period of time.
Police attempted to negotiate with the members of the first group, but they refused to vacate the area. After several requests in person and over a police loudspeaker, police moved the members of the first group from City Hall Plaza.
Once the second group moved into City Hall Plaza, police formed lines with bikes and fencing to ensure there was a safe distance between both groups.
At some point, members of the first group became mobile and police had to move to maintain a buffer. During one of these movements, a member of the first group, an adult woman, struck another person with her fist. Police arrested her for misdemeanor assault.
Shortly thereafter, other members of the first group threw gravel and debris at officers. Police arrested three adult men as a result.
Other members of the first group used this time to vandalize two parked police cars on 4th Avenue, one with key scratches and markers, another by kicking the side of the car, denting it.
Members of the City Hall Plaza group eventually concluded their demonstration and departed.
After marching in the streets for bit longer, members of the first demonstration concluded their event as well.
In total, police arrested four people and booked them into King County Jail.