Defend police rally attracts dozens of black-clad opponents

VIDEO: Defend police rally attracts dozens of black-clad opponents

SEATTLE — Dozens of people gathered at Green Lake Park on Saturday in support of Seattle police. But dozens more opponents arrived and threatened to take over.

One man was detained but then released. It appears no one was arrested.

But it made for a very tense afternoon.

Content Continues Below

Even as they held flags proclaiming their support for Seattle police, there was tension in the air. All who were there were brought together at Green Lake on this mostly overcast Saturday by Savannah Kerns in support, she says, of Blue Lives.

“There’s a lot of noise in Seattle from the opposing side,” said Kerns. “They’re heard all the time. They’re seen all the time. And I think they think for everybody and they don’t.”

But Kerns says she does agree on the need for police reform.

“That’s kind of why of I’m really happy that they asked to have open conversation because I feel like that doesn’t happen,” she said, nervously turning her head at the sound of a commotion. “Oh, my.”

Indeed, the interview had to stop because that “conversation” was taking a very different turn, devolving into mostly shouting back and forth.

There were no Seattle police officers in this crowd; they were hanging back on the perimeter of Green Lake.

Moments later, Kerns said she called 911.

“I just let them know because there was two people assaulted and someone was spit on,” she said. “So I let them know that they’re kind of surrounding us. We just want somebody to separate so you can you know be safe.”

But the police stayed back.

This comes as a new Crosscut/Elway poll shows that 54% of Seattle residents support reforming the police. But 58% oppose cutting the police budget in half.

The bicycle officers did eventually end up inside Green Lake. And almost immediately the crowd of protesters turned on them in what has become a familiar sight over this long summer and early fall of racial unrest.

Then suddenly officers got the order to retreat, to the delight and cheers of those appearing to chase them away.

The crowd did block East Green Lake Way North for a time, preventing buses from staying on their route.

But there was a negotiation with the police, the protesters left, and the road opened up.