SEATTLE — David Obelcz was recording as he marched onto I-5 Saturday in what began as a peaceful protest to honor George Floyd, the unarmed black man who was killed by a Minneapolis Police Officer.
“The energy was positive. This feeling. I don't want to use the word the happy. It’s not appropriate but this very positive energy in the air. It was people of all ages, all races,” recounted Obelcz.
The group marched under the bridge, which is where Obelcz said the protest took a turn.
“There was a group of individuals and they put their backpacks on the ground and started pulling out gas masks, hearing protection, putting on gloves and protecting their other areas on their body and face,” added Obelcz.
Obelcz says he knew trouble was just around the corner.
On his recording Obelcz can be heard saying “it is white people getting ready to stir the pot here. I want everyone to really understand that.” Then his video captures the sound of firecrackers and people running.
At around the same time, chaos was erupting inside the Nordstrom store on 5th and Pine as captured by Beau Hatch.
“They were heading straight for all the Gucci products, designer products,” said Hatch.
Hatch said he followed the looters in, not to steal, but to document what was happening.
“You guys can’t get that close so I thought why not just to show everybody,” Hatch said.
Obelcz believes the devastation and violence was a coordinated effort to sow havoc and inflict more pain.
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