National Guard troops deployed at County-City Building amid protests planned for Friday

National Guard troops deployed at County-City Building amid protests planned for Friday

TACOMA, Wash. — National Guard troops have been assigned to provide security at the County-City Building in Tacoma from 5 p.m. Thursday through Monday.

The action was requested by County Executive Bruce Dammeier, Pierce County communications director Libby Catalinich said.

The 30 National Guard Members will surround the building at 930 Tacoma Avenue S. in light of two planned protests for Friday, Catalinich confirmed. They will not be armed, she said.

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The County-City Building is home to several courtrooms, the Sheriff’s Department, the Executive’s office and other city and county departments.

A #SayTheirNames protest is scheduled for 1 p.m. and a Black Lives Matter demonstration is scheduled at 4 p.m., according to a flyer about upcoming protests that is circulating on Facebook. The flyer anticipates 100 and 50 attendees, respectively.

Tacoma has had protests throughout the week over the deaths of George Floyd and recent news of Manuel Ellis, whose death was deemed a homicide by the Pierce County Medical Examiner’s Office.

Pierce County Superior Court said it would close its doors at noon Friday “in response to planned protests and other gatherings in and around the County-City Building campus,” court officials said in a press release.

Remote hearings will happen as scheduled. Those hearings and criminal arraignments for the rest of the day will be broadcast online.

Emergency domestic violence protection order petitions won’t be accepted after 11 a.m.

Anyone who can’t make a scheduled court time – including attorneys, defendants, witnesses and litigants – needs to contact the court.

Pierce County District Court said in a press release that its public counters would also be closed Friday.