Peaceful day of protests turns into violent night
At 6 p.m. Wednesday, a group called the Puget Sound Anarchists held a unpermitted march on Capital Hill. The anarchists called it a anti capitalist, anti state May Day rally.
The march began at Seattle Central Community College and just a short time into march the crowd turned violent. Demonstrators began shoving and attacking reporters giving live reports. Rocks, pieces of asphalt, glass bottles, fireworks and even a skateboard were thrown at officers.
Eight officers were slightly injured. A woman driving by the chaos was injured when a protester shattered her car window.
Anarchists also targeted several businesses. Officers made several arrests and at one point protesters blocked a police van from leaving.
Police used pepper spray to disperse the crowds, which eventually died down around 9 p.m. Wednesday. Seventeen people were arrested for various offenses including property destruction and assault.
Despite this violence, police said the day was an overall success.
“We reacted according to the plan we had in place. We had the immigration march that we staffed for, we sent for additional staffing up east based on the size and as they took the actions that they took, we adjusted the forces necessary to disperse the crowd, which they ultimately did,” Captain Chris Fowler said.
Police will form a task force to investigate all the criminal activity and a complete tally of the damage. Police are asking the public for pictures and videos of the violence.