Murray: City supports peaceful protests, has no tolerance for property damage

Mayor Ed Murray has released the following statement on ongoing planned protests in downtown Seattle:

“In Seattle in the wake of the Ferguson grand jury decision this past week, we have seen hundreds of peaceful protesters engage in free expression about the critical issue of race and social justice.

We have also seen what appears to be a familiar band of anarchists exploit these peaceful protests and use them as a platform to do damage and create an atmosphere of fear and chaos.

The City of Seattle stands ready to facilitate and support individuals who wish to peacefully express their first amendment rights. But we will not tolerate those who would exploit these peaceful protests in order to destroy property and incite violence.

Over the weekend, many families and young people visited downtown for a special holiday afternoon at Westlake Center – and nearly saw the planned festivities spoiled.

That cannot happen again, and Chief O’Toole and the Seattle Police Department will ensure that downtown remains safe during protests and during this holiday season.”