SPD compares violence at Occupy Port protest to WTO


by KING 5 News


Posted on December 15, 2011 at 5:19 PM

Updated Thursday, Dec 15 at 6:21 PM

SEATTLE -- Seattle Police called this week's Occupy protest at the Port of Seattle violent, comparing it to the WTO protests in 1999.

"It's been a long time since we've seen people throwing things that could kill people, not since WTO," said Assistant Chief Mike Sanford. 

Seattle Police showcased about 45 minutes of video from Monday's protest to the media on Thursday. The video was shot by SPD videographers in an effort to show their perspective of the demonstration. Officers said they witnessed protesters throwing bricks, red paint and flares.

RAW VIDEO: Watch protesters clash with police

"We have had people who have thrown things at the police, but not in this number. Not bricks, not sharpened rebar, not things that would kill people," said Sanford.

During the protest, 11 demonstrators were arrested and 5 officers were injured.

The video will be posted shortly on the Seattle Police website and will be linked to KING5.com.

A minister from the Valley and Mountain Church spoke to KING 5 News Wednesday about his experience at the protest, claiming he was beaten by a Seattle Police officer after locking arms with fellow protesters. In response, Sanford said minister was participating in a potentially dangerous situation by locking arms.

"We had a large number of people there to cause violence," said Sanford. "That is not the message that Occupy Seattle wanted to get out."

Seattle Police said they plan to shoot more video at events like Monday's demonstration in order to be more transparent with the public and to observe officers at work.