SEATTLE — Twelve officers were injured, businesses and police precincts were damaged and two arrests were made during a protest that turned destructive in Seattle on Sunday.
According to police, the protest began around 10:30 a.m. as a peaceful demonstration calling for the abolition of federal Immigration and Customs Enforcement, or ICE, at Westlake Park.
Around 1:30 p.m., police said a secondary group of demonstrators joined in and were seen carrying baseball bats.
Police said the group marched south on 5th Avenue toward the Seattle Police Department headquarters and damaged businesses on the way.
The group damaged the old federal courthouse building, graffitied the SPD headquarters and graffitied and broke windows at the Municipal Court building, police said.
According to police, the group then went north on 3rd Avenue and continued to damage businesses on the way.
“Individuals in the group appeared to target Starbucks and Amazon,” Sgt. Lauren Truscott said in a news conference.
Police said the group then made it to the department’s West Precinct where they confronted officers outside. Members of the group then lit mortar-type fireworks and threw them at officers from a close range, injuring 12, Truscott said.
Truscott said one of the injured officers was taken to Harborview Medical Center after “fragmentation entered his throat and neck area.” The other injured officers were assessed and treated at the precinct.
Truscott said officers used blast balls and pepper spray against the protesters but no tear gas was used. Two people were arrested.
Police said the group then left the West Precinct and headed toward the East Precinct, continuing to damage businesses along the way.
Once at the East Precinct, police said the group broke windows and threw “some type of pyrotechnic item” into the lobby that started a small fire. A community member put the fire out, and no injuries were reported.
Police said the group then gathered at nearby Cal Anderson Park before dispersing.
Truscott said the group appeared to be well organized and well-orchestrated and acted in “a joint effort to target specific businesses and government buildings.”
Truscott said police also received reports of looting from some of the damaged stores.
The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms are conducting the follow-up investigations related to the arson and the fireworks. Detectives with SPD are investigating the reported property damage and looting incidents.
Anyone with information is asked to contact SPD.