Official Statement on Use of Force During Friday Night Protests

Every year, the Seattle Police Department facilitates over 300 free speech events, the vast majority without incident or arrest.  Our policies and training are built around maximizing the exercise of free speech without officer intervention.  The Seattle Police Department will continue to support the peaceful exercise of First Amendment rights. We will not, however, tolerate violence and property destruction. Individuals engaging in this behavior will be arrested.

During the demonstrations last night, amidst property destruction and confrontations with officers, there were several arrests. In one arrest, which has received media attention, officers used force.  Under SPD’s policies relating to crowd management and review of force, any force that is used during the course of last night’s event will undergo a high level of scrutiny and review by the chain of command, SPD’s Force Review Board, the Office of Police Accountability, and the Office of the Inspector General.