Police arrested five people Monday night after a peaceful demonstration took a tense turn late in the evening, which included a crowd hurling bottles, rocks and fireworks at officers and a brief closure of Interstate 5.
Hundreds of people gathered in Westlake Park following a grand jury announcement Monday evening in Ferguson, MO.
The group marched up the western slope of Capitol Hill and past the Seattle Police Department’s East Precinct before turning south and heading through the Central and International Districts.
The group dwindled in size throughout the evening, eventually approaching 7th Avenue and Madison Street when they attempted to march down Interstate 5 (I-5). There, individuals in the crowd began hurling bottles and rocks at officers, leading police issue a dispersal order.
When the crowd ignored several orders to disperse–and continued throwing bottles, rocks and even cans of food at police–officers deployed pepper and noise devices to break up the large group.
Several people skirted the police line and accessed I-5, forcing police to briefly close the freeway. As members of SPD and the Washington State Patrol moved onto I-5 to arrest demonstrators, suspects in a crowd overlooking freeway shot a large, powerful firework, which exploded at officers’ feet.
As of 1 AM, police had arrested five people: a 51-year-old man for reckless endangerment, a 22-year-old woman for failure to disperse, and two men–34 and 28–for obstruction. Officers also arrested another man, who was armed with a handgun, on a weapons violation. The department will release more information on the suspects as it becomes available.
Police are also investigating several incidents of property damage after vandals spray painted buildings at 6th Avenue and Pike Street and 9th Avenue and Madison Street. Vandals also reportedly shattered a bank’s window at Madison and Boylston Avenue.
As this week’s events develop, SPD will continue to provide public safety services and support to additional community gatherings–both scheduled and unscheduled–throughout the city.