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Seattle police making changes after officers, protesters clash in Capitol Hill

Several officers were injured when a small group of protestors threw incendiary devices at them. Protesters were met with pepper spray and flash bangs.

SEATTLE — Sunday marked the 10th day of protests across western Washington in response to police brutality and racial justice over the death of George Floyd, a black man killed in Minneapolis police custody.

Police said people in the crowd Sunday night into Monday morning threw projectiles like bottles, rocks, and fireworks at officers. Seattle police also said green lasers were shinned into officer’s eyes.

The Seattle Police Department tweeted that a man was armed with a gun at the intersection of 11th and Pine streets just after midnight.

Officers responded with OC spray, blast balls, and the use of CS gas was authorized after dispersal orders were given, police said in a tweet.

On Saturday, a peaceful protest in Seattle's Capitol Hill neighborhood near Cal Anderson Park turned tense around 7:30 p.m. after police ordered the crowd to move back behind a barrier.

During the on-going protests in Capitol Hill, officers used blast balls and pepper spray to temporarily disperse the crowd after individuals in the group threw bottles, rocks, and incendiary devices broke through a fence line, and several officers were injured.

Police say they warned gatherers to step away from the barricade. Protesters refused to back up and threw items at officers. 

The protest that started in the early afternoon remained mostly peaceful, however, one protester told KING 5 there were a few "bad apples" trying to rile the crowd. 

Two officers were taken to Harborview Medical Center for their wounds.

No tear gas was deployed during the confrontation. The City of Seattle banned the use of tear gas on protesters by police for 30 days. 

"We really want to meet peace with peace," said Seattle Police Chief Carmen Best.

Seattle City Council members sharply criticized Mayor Jenny Durkan and Chief Best for having police use those measures a day after Durkan and Best said they were trying to de-escalate tensions.

In response to the chaos on Saturday, police put in a different barricade that is less likely to be moved.

The department is trying to decrease the visibility of officers, Best said protesters feel as if it's militarized having them out in full force and in uniform, and that having them less visible could minimize risks for both officers and protesters.

Best said it's their policy to make sure the response is "reasonable, necessary and proportionate" to the incident. She said Saturday's response will be under review. 

Watch Chief Best address the issue below, or click here

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