Viral video of Seattle police and protesters clashing sparks investigation

SEATTLE — A viral Twitter video showing Seattle police and protesters clashing over the weekend has sparked an investigation by the Office of Police Accountability, that said on Tuesday it would review additional videos from the protest and conduct interviews to determine whether any policies were violated.

The 26-second video was recorded Saturday in Downtown Seattle and showed officers moving protesters back near Westlake Park. The video shows a Seattle police officer, walking among officers, trip and nearly fall.

The video then shows that officer grab a protester, who a second man tries to pull away from the officer’s grip. Other officers move in and chaos erupts, with at least one person thrown to the ground by police.

The person who tweeted the video that has been seen by millions of people, wrote, “This SPD officer *trips over his own bike*, and then uses it as an excuse to violently attack and arrest a protester 10 feet away from him (who was moving backwards, obeying orders). Appalling.”

A Seattle police spokesperson declined KIRO 7’s request for the department’s account of what happened before and after the viral video, referring us to the chief’s tweet as the department’s statement.

Seattle Police Chief Carmen Best tweeted Wednesday, “We are aware of community concerns regarding arrests during a demonstration this past weekend. I sent this matter to the Office of Police Accountability, and I look forward to the conclusion of their investigation. As always, we remain committed to constitutional policing, supporting First Amendment rights for all.”

Several other videos have surfaced showing officers and protesters clashing, who were there to oppose a “Make America Great Again” march.

"We saw many separate incidents where police were acting egregiously,” said one protester, who did not want to be publicly identified. “It was brazen and they really don’t care and they will most likely clear themselves of wrongdoing.”