SEATTLE -- Anti-police brutality protests have spread from Baltimore to Western Washington. A small crowd marched in downtown Seattle in solidarity with others across the United States.
At the heart of Westlake Plaza in downtown Seattle, dozens of protesters gathered with signs and chants.
Using momentum building in Baltimore following the death of Freddie Gray, who died while in police custody, Emma Kaplan helped organize the protest, hoping to send a clear message.
“Our message here is that we are standing here with the defiant ones, which sends a very powerful message that they aren`t going to tolerate police murder and the days of living with this are over,” said Kaplan.
With Seattle police keeping a close watch, the protest eventually spilled into the streets of 4th and Pine in the height of rush hour, forcing traffic to a halt.
Randy Johnson was on his way home from work when he quickly went from spectator to participant.
“I get worried about if I`m going to get pulled over and worry about should I have a gun, too, because somehow people who don`t have them still lose their life,” said Johnson, who said he has worried about the police targeting him because he’s a black man.
Others like Anita Belcher had her reservations about the clashes happening around the country. She said her husband has been in Baltimore trying to stop the violence.
“What i believe about any protest is that everybody has a right to feel anyway they want to feel; however, when you start doing violent things, you start adding to the problem then you`re doing too much,” said Belcher.
Violence is a serious concern for local police, ahead of May Day this Friday, which is a day with a reputation in Seattle for vandalism and destruction.
As for Randy Johnson, he just hopes the messages heard today don’t stop here and reach beyond streets of Seattle.
“This is a strong message, and I hope people are seeing it, hearing it, it`s going on every day, not just here,” said Johnson.