Protest causes traffic nightmare in downtown Seattle

SEATTLE — Chopper 7 flew over the scene where protesters initially got together at the intersection of 4th Avenue and James, which is right outside the office of King County Executive Dow Constantine.

Some of the protestors locked arms.

Others held up signs that read "No New Youth Jail" and "Stop Caging Kids” in the middle of the street, which created a traffic nightmare in the heart of downtown Seattle.

Haris Mujacic from Seattle was trying to pick up someone from the Westin Hotel, but couldn't get through.

"I'm two blocks away but, you know, someone that's very old, 92-years-old, is going to take some time to walk over here” said Mujacic shaking his head. “So hopefully I can kind of get through."

And trying to get through was a huge challenge for other drivers.

"He's got a doctor’s appointment in 20 minutes,” one woman, who was pointing to her passenger, told KIRO 7.

While drivers scrambled to find another way to their destination, protesters voiced their opposition to a new youth jail.

“In order for us to really succeed in our aspirational goal of getting to zero detention, we have to eliminate the need for any judge or any cop to bring us a child and ask them to hold that child," Constantine, said.

KIRO 7 asked the Seattle Police Department why a handful of protesters were allowed to block traffic for so long.

SPD released this statement:

"There are over 300 demonstrations a year in our city and each presents a unique set of circumstances. Our goal in all demonstrations, permitted or unpermitted, is always to safely resolve any impacts as quickly as possible."

Seattle protest over youth jail

On KIRO 7 News at 5, David Solano reports after a protest against construction of a new youth jail in Seattle blocked all directions of traffic at an intersection in downtown Seattle. [GRAPHIC LANGUAGE WARNING] kiro.tv/YouthJailProtest Members of the No New Youth Jail Campaign want King County to adopt a goal of zero detention for youth.

Posted by KIRO 7 News on Friday, March 2, 2018

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