South Sound News

10 arrested outside Northwest Detention Center, Tacoma police say

Ten people were arrested Tuesday evening outside the Northwest Detention Center on Tacoma's Tideflats, according to Tacoma police.

About 160 people had gathered in front of the detention center, which holds undocumented migrants detained by the federal government during deportation proceedings, Tacoma police spokeswoman Loretta Cool said Tuesday night.

About 40 of the people protesting U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement policy outside the detention center decided to block the roadway leading to the facility, Cool said.

A Tacoma officer responded in his patrol car about 9:10 p.m. to ask the protesters to clear the roadway when one person with a shopping cart jumped in front of his car and refused to move, Cool said. Others in the group began to surround the officer's car, so he called for immediate backup.

When other officers began to arrive, they attempted to arrest the man with the shopping cart, Cool said. Another man jumped onto the back of one of the other officers, but was quickly detained.

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Of the 10 people arrested, the man who jumped onto the officer's back was arrested on suspicion of third-degree assault, the man with the shopping cart and another were arrested on suspicion of resisting arrest, and seven more were arrested for failing to disperse, Cool said.

About 25 officers responded to the scene in total, she added.

The Northwest Detention Center, which is run by the for-profit Geo Group, is a frequent site of protests against the U.S. government's policies toward undocumented migrants.

Activists started camping in front of the facility Saturday in protest of President Donald Trump's policy of separating children from their parents when the parents are detained for immigration violations.

Protesters had set out to make noise at 9 a.m. and 9 p.m. each day to be able to make their presence known to the detained immigrants held at the facility. Officers were dispatched to the detention center just after that demonstration would have been underway.