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Police Make Dozens of Arrests After Explosion Damages East Precinct and March Turns to Riot

Seattle Police made dozens of arrests and 21 officers were injured following a riot in the East Precinct.

Around 2:15pm, two large groups of demonstrators gathered at Seattle Central College and Cal Anderson Park on Capitol Hill, before converging and marching south on Broadway.

Around 4pm, the large group of demonstrators arrived at the site of the King County Youth Service Center/Judge Patricia H. Clark Children and Family Justice Center, near 12th Avenue and Alder Street. Approximately a dozen people then entered a construction site at the facility, set fire to portable trailers and other equipment, and broke out windows on personal vehicles in the area and court facilities.

The large group then moved north on 12th Avenue, breaking windows at several businesses.

The group continued north on 12th Avenue until it reached the Seattle Police Department’s East Precinct at 12th Avenue and Pine Street.

There, several people emerged from the group and began spray painting and attempting to disable security cameras and a fence perimeter around the precinct.

At least one person breached the precinct’s fence line. Moments later, a device exploded leaving an 8-inch hole in the side of the precinct. 

Due to the ongoing public safety risks and damaged associated with this incident march, SPD declared the incident a riot and began issuing orders to leave the area.

The crowd threw bottles and balloons filled with liquid and shot mortar fireworks and tossed explosives at officers.

Police deployed less-lethal equipment, including OC spray, blast balls, and 40mm sponge rounds. Officers did not deploy CS (tear) gas.

Over the next several hours, a smaller crowd wound through Capitol Hill, continuing to throw bricks, rocks, mortars and other explosives at officers. As of 10 pm, police had made 45 arrests in connection with today’s riot for assaults on officers, failure to disperse, and obstruction.

Twenty-one officers sustained injuries during the day’s events. Most were able to return to duty. One was treated at a hospital for a knee injury.

Arson/Bomb detectives are investigating the explosion at the East Precinct.