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5 arrested as protesters take to Seattle streets, downtown malls

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SEATTLE — Seattle police arrested at least five demonstrators as several groups protested events on Black Friday. Meanwhile others enjoyed the holiday parade and festivities on one of the busiest shopping days of the year.

Some demonstrators pushed against officers at 7th and Pine as they moved from downtown Seattle to the Capitol Hill neighborhood.

Police said they used pepper spray to disperse people away from the police line. Some demonstrators threw flares and used pepper spray, according to SPD.

Officials told Q13 FOX News that police set up barricades to block protesters from disrupting a Christmas tree lighting at Westlake Center at 5:00 p.m.

Protesters made their way up to the tree, but the lighting ceremony went on without a hitch.

Seattle Mayor Ed Murray released this statement:

“While I understand the hurt and frustration that our city has experienced in the past days, this is a city that respects the rule of law. I support the First Amendment rights of protestors, but violence against property or police officers will not be tolerated in our city.”

Earlier in the day, a parade began at 9 a.m. in downtown Seattle with other family events scheduled afterwards. The morning was largely quiet, as protests were scheduled to begin at Westlake Plaza as early as 11 a.m., but not many were seen.

Around 1 p.m., a small group of protesters were downtown carrying signs in memory of Michael Brown, a 18-year-old Ferguson man shot by a police officer.

The number of protesters -- some anti-police and anti-capitalists -- gradually grew enough to block traffic by 1:30 p.m., police said.

A short time later, the protesters entered the mall.

Earlier Friday morning, Seattle Police Chief, Kathleen O'Toole, said families have nothing to worry about.

“We always have a lot of presence downtown the Friday after Thanksgiving," O'Toole said. "We’ll have a lot of our bicycle officers out and about. You’ll see many of them and uniformed police. It’s in the ordinary course of business we’d have them out anyway.”

This morning, several police officers were seen patrolling Westlake Plaza hours before the parade was scheduled to begin.

O'Toole said Seattle Police have a lot of practice with protests.

“Seattle Police Dept. does a really great job at protests. We’ve had over 300 protests this year. Prior to Monday, we only had arrests in two or three instances.”

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Several hundred demonstrators now at Pike and Boren

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From Tanner Harrison

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13 comments

  • KIt

    The protesters should be marching down Rainier Ave or MLK JR Way because that’s where the gangs are killing each other every month. There’s no reason be in downtown – except it’s probably safer than the central area. Go protest where the criminals can see you.

  • big john stankus

    We need to start beating the “stupid” out of these ignorant, naive protesters. What a disgusting group of stupid idiots. Would love to see them start trying to take officers’ guns and wind up getting a Dirt Nap – it would strengthen the gene pool a tiny bit.

  • Bob

    These protestors are nothing but uneducated spoiled entitlements babies. Not to mention their hypocrisy is amazing. Like the ones they interviewed who said facts do no matter. So in their mind they believe that condemning someone based on lies and falsehoods is the standards they want to live by. That and they Are The Only Racists In this saga. Each and everyone of these protesters claims Officer Darren is a racist. Yet not one of them have ever met him or know anything about him. They have judged this man solely by his skin color. Again- what a bunch of hypocrites.

    Here is an idea- why don’t you folks all go get jobs and finish school. Right now you are nothing but a bunch of hate filled violent animals.

  • Kit

    The problem isn’t the Seattle police shooting black men (Stop Killing Us) – the problem is black criminals killing blacks and other people that happen to get caught in the crossfire. Every week there are robberies, mugging and shooting in the southend caused by black criminals.

  • Aury

    @Fox News Staff that wrote this. If I wanted a twitter account I would have one. There’s barely any story here from what I tried to read between twitter posts of others. Ridiculous – you are no where close to journalism here.