Seattle Police arrested three men as officers worked to facilitate two planned demonstrations in Seattle today: one in Westlake park and a separate, larger counter demonstration in Denny Park.
As hundreds of peaceful counter demonstrators gathered in Denny Park, police observed some individuals infiltrating the crowd carrying axe handles, two-by-fours, and balloons containing an unknown liquid substance. Still others wore dark glasses, goggles and bandannas to conceal their identity.
Around 2 p.m., people participating in the Denny Park counter demonstration began marching towards Westlake Park. Police lined the march route to provide traffic control and to ensure that both scheduled Denny Park and Westlake Park events remained separate in the interest of safety for all those involved.
Some members of the Denny Park counter demonstration tried to circumvent police by running down an alley between 5th and 6th Avenues and Lenora. These individuals tried to use a makeshift shield to force their way past police bicycle line. Police used pepper spray to move them back. There were reports of rocks thrown at officers.
Members of the Denny Park counter demonstration continued west on Lenora, looking for access to Westlake Park. Additional attempts to push past police at 4th and Lenora were met with pepper spray.
The Denny Park counter demonstration ultimately stopped at 2nd and Pine. Some individuals got close to the police line and covered officers with silly string.
Soon after, some in the crowd lobbed fireworks at officers. Police issued a dispersal order, using pepper spray and blast balls to move the crowd.
The counter demonstrators eventually left the intersection and marched back to Denny Park.
The planned demonstration in Westlake Park wrapped up around 5 p.m.
Police made a total of three arrests: a 40 year old man for obstruction, a 37 year old man for assault, and a 25 year old man for assault.
All force used by officers will be thoroughly reviewed, as per department policies developed in partnership with the United States Department of Justice.