According to police, rioters at a protest in Seattle who caused extensive property damage to private businesses and government buildings, and caused injures to 12 officers were not all acting spontaneously.
Instead, they say, at least some of the rioters appeared to be 'very organized'.
The issues on Sunday started during a protest taking place at Westlake Park. Over the course of several hours, rioters moved through the streets wielding baseball bats, breaking windows, causing property damage, throwing mortar-like fireworks inside a police precinct in an attempt to start a fire, and attacking officers with bottles, traffic cones and fireworks.
12 police officers were injured, some with cuts and abrasions, and at least one officer sustained injuries to his neck as a result of fireworks being thrown at him.
A press release issued by the Seattle Police Department said:
According the Incident Commander, individuals within this group appeared to be very organized and this appeared to be a very concerted effort at property damage of certain businesses and government facilities.
The police department decided to release body-cam video of officers during this incident in an effort to show the public what happened:
In response to community concerns, we are releasing body-worn video around the Sunday afternoon protests where 12 officers were injured.
In the following video, you can see that as protestors approached the West Precinct officers saw a man walk up to the secured garage doors of the building and hold an umbrella up to intentionally block the view of a security camera. Officers moved in to escort the person away from the doors and were immediately assaulted with bottles, street cones, and fireworks. One officer was struck in the neck and injured by fragmentation from one of the explosions resulting in that officer being hospitalized.
During the confrontation, officers used OC spray and stop the assault from the crowd. Officers arrested one person for assault and a second for theft of a police bicycle.
We are releasing this video in an attempt to be transparent and will continue to release videos of significant incidents.