SEATTLE — Seattle police arrested 13 people Saturday night after a march downtown turned destructive. The march was planned to mark the one year anniversary of the death of Breonna Taylor, a Black woman, who was shot and killed by police during a botched drug raid at her Louisville, Kentucky home.
In a statement Sunday, police said the suspects were arrested for crimes including property damage, obstructing a public officer and felony assault.
The group gathered at Occidental Park in Pioneer Square at 7 p.m. and started marching towards the waterfront about an hour later.
During the march, police said members of the group pulled barricades, fencing, and cones out of a construction zone on Alaskan Way between Yesler Way and Columbia Street, blocking traffic in several lanes. The Washington State Patrol had to temporarily close the ferry terminal until the marchers cleared the area, police said.
At about 8:20 p.m., officers started arresting identified individuals who had tampered with the construction zone. Police said while this was happening, other members of the group began throwing rocks at police. One officer was struck by a rock but his helmet kept him from being injured, police said.
Police collected multiple rocks from the scene, some of which were the size of a baseball, police said. Officers also recovered a backpack nearby containing a hammer, a rock and two cans of spray paint.
The group made their way to Belltown around 9 p.m. and started vandalizing businesses in the area of 2nd Avenue and Lenora Street with spray paint and broke several large windows, police said. They continued into the downtown core and caused more damage to businesses in the area of 6th Avenue and Pine Street.
Police said the remainder of the group made their way back to Occidental Park around 10 p.m. and changed out of their mostly all black clothing and dispersed.
Four of the arrestees were booked into the King County Jail and nine were processed and released from the West Precinct, police said.
The Downtown Seattle Association issued the following statement Sunday condemning the destruction: "Just as we saw in late January’s destruction, Seattle police did their part last night by arresting people for violence and destruction of property. This kind of damaging behavior hampers our ability to recovery as a city. Every Seattle elected official needs to send a strong message that assaults and property crime aren’t welcome in Seattle and those who take part will be held accountable."
Marches have been happening across the country this weekend, including in Portland, Oregon, where groups also caused damage downtown and police made multiple arrests.