Fires and Pepper Spray in Seattle as Police Protests Widen Across U.S.

Fires and Pepper Spray in Seattle as Police Protests Widen Across U.S.

From Los Angeles to New York, protesters marched in a show of solidarity with demonstrations in Portland, Ore. In Seattle, they smashed windows and set fires. A shooting at a protest in Austin, Texas, left one man dead.

Police officers, deploying flash grenades and pepper spray, confronted protesters in Seattle Saturday evening. 
Police officers, deploying flash grenades and pepper spray, confronted protesters in Seattle Saturday evening. Credit…Grant Hindsley for The New York Times

By Mike Baker and Nicholas Bogel-Burroughs

  • Published July 25, 2020Updated July 26, 2020, 11:42 a.m. ET

SEATTLE — Weeks of violent clashes between federal agents and protesters in Portland, Ore., galvanized thousands of people to march through the streets of American cities on Saturday, injecting new life into protests that had largely waned in recent weeks.

One of the most intense protests was in Seattle, where a day of demonstrations focused on police violence left a trail of broken windows and people flushing pepper spray from their eyes. At least 45 protesters had been arrested as of early evening, and both protesters and police officers suffered injuries.

Carrying signs such as “Feds Go Home” and shouting chants of “No justice, no peace,” some among the crowd of about 5,000 protesters stopped at a youth detention center and lit several construction trailers there on fire. Some smashed windows of nearby businesses, ignited a fire in a coffee shop and blew an eight-inch hole through the wall of the Seattle Police Department’s East Precinct building, the police said.

“At this point, we declared the event to be a riot, and several orders to disperse were given,” the Seattle police chief, Carmen Best, said at a news conference.

Protesters in Seattle faced a line of police officers after marching in support of demonstrators in Portland, Ore., on Saturday.
Protesters in Seattle faced a line of police officers after marching in support of demonstrators in Portland, Ore., on Saturday.Credit…Grant Hindsley for The New York Times
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