Seattle police officers were filmed kneeling on the necks of two CHOP demonstrators as they were being arrested for squatting at a downtown intersection on two separate occasions on Thursday.
Seattle police officers continued to gradually reclaim the streets from the Capitol Hill Occupied Protest (CHOP) as one video shows cops dive-tackling a group of demonstrators at a downtown intersection where 25 people were arrested.
A group of police officers on bicycles rode toward a line of demonstrators who appeared to be squatting in the middle of the intersection of Broadway and Pine Street at around 5:30pm on Thursday.
In the video, an officer is seen tackling one of several demonstrators and telling him to put his hands behind his back.
A Seattle police officer is seen kneeling against the neck of a protester that he was detaining at the intersection of Pine and Broadway at around 5:30pm on Thursday
The officer presses his knee against the protester’s neck as he is arresting him. The protester is heard asking the officer to remove his knee from his neck
A Seattle police officer (right) was filmed lunging and tackling a protester in the CHOP zone on Thursday afternoon
As the officer and one of his colleagues pins the protester to the ground, one demonstrator is heard yelling: ‘Can you please not put your knee on his neck?’
The protester is then heard telling the officer: ‘Can you take your f*****g knee off my neck, dude?’
The officers then handcuff the protester and lift him off the ground seconds later, taking him into custody.
The arrests took place hours before police claimed that demonstrators in the area pelted them with bottles and rocks and shot fireworks in their direction from the same intersection.
In a separate video from before dawn on Thursday, a police officer was seen pressing his knee against the neck another demonstrator near the same intersection.
‘Get off his neck!’ several protesters are heard yelling at the helmeted officer in riot gear as several law enforcement officials pin down a man who appears to be in his twenties.
‘You’re hurting him!’ another protester who was off to the side yelled in the officers’ direction as they were detaining the demonstrator.
The video from the daytime incident showed helmeted officers swiftly getting off their bikes and then swooping in to detain the protesters who were blocking the intersection.
The officers appeared to push out the protesters from the intersection and established a perimeter.
During this time, protesters were filming the arrests with their cell phones and in some cases taunting the cops.
‘He will be right back, you dirty pigs! He will be right back!’ one protester is heard yelling toward police after they detained several people.
Another video of the same incident shows how events unfolded from a different angle.
In the video, it appears that officers warned the protesters to clear the intersection, which was marked off with yellow tape.
‘Do it,’ one of the protesters is heard yelling toward police. ‘Come f*** some girl up who’s reading.’
Within seconds, the police move in on bicycles and knock down several protesters to the ground.
‘What the f***, man! What the f***!’ one protester is heard saying in the video.
The massive unrest in Seattle and across the country was sparked by the May 25 police-involved death of George Floyd, the 46-year-old black man who died in the custody of Minneapolis police.
Video footage of Floyd’s arrest shows one officer pressing his knee against Floyd’s neck, cutting off his air supply.
One of the arresting officers, Derek Chauvin, knelt on Floyd’s neck for more than eight minutes. Chauvin and three other police officers have been charged.
Seattle police moved in swiftly to clear the intersection of protesters on Thursday
Several protesters who were not arrested taunted police and accused them of using excessive force
The officers were sent to clear the CHOP of protesters after the mayor issued an executive order
Police claim that protesters in the area hurled fireworks, bottles and rocks at officers hours before the arrests
Police set up a perimeter and moved protesters out of the intersection in downtown Seattle on Thursday
DailyMail.com has reached out to the Seattle Police Department for comment.
Seattle police say they arrested more than two dozen people early on Thursday who gathered in an area officers cleared hours earlier after the mayor ordered an end to the city’s ‘occupied’ protest zone.
In a statement police said they used pepper spray and blast balls after people in the crowd started throwing bottles at officers.
Twenty-five people were arrested for failure to disperse, assault and obstruction.
The mayhem came after police cleared the CHOP zone just east of downtown early Wednesday morning.
The group had occupied several blocks around a park for about two weeks after police abandoned a precinct station following standoffs and clashes that were part of the nationwide unrest over the killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis.
More than three dozen people were arrested early Wednesday, charged with failure to disperse, obstruction, assault and unlawful weapon possession.
Mayor Jenny Durkan ordered the area cleared after two recent fatal shootings.
Seattle police said on Thursday they will continue to move people from the area or arrest them per Durkan’s order.
At least 44 people were arrested in the early morning hours of Wednesday as officers took back their precinct just hours earlier following an executive order for demonstrators to vacate the area.
In a statement issued at 5:30am on Thursday officials confirmed the 25 arrests for failure to disperse, assault, and obstructing. They added: ‘Police deployed blast balls and pepper spray while attempting to make arrests after individuals in the crowd began throwing bottles at officers’
Police pepper sprayed protesters and arrested 25 people for refusing to leave Seattle’s reclaimed Capitol Hill Organized Protest (CHOP) zone on Wednesday night
Police and protesters clashed overnight Wednesday hours after police took back their precinct
A 10-day dispersal order remains in place as neighbors say ‘we’ve lost residents and small businesses’ after violence overran the cop-free zone and two teenage boys were killed. A huge clean up operation went into effect Wednesday
They had abandoned the building and several blocks around it on June 8 following clashes with demonstrators calling for an end to police brutality.
A 10-day dispersal order was put in place as neighbors say ‘we’ve lost residents and small businesses’ after violence overran the cop-free zone and two teenage boys were killed.
A huge clean up operation went into effect Wednesday after police cleared out the protesters.
As residents in the neighborhood watched from balconies, police cleared out the protesters’ tents from the park and made sure no one was left in the park’s bathrooms.
Capitol Hill business owner Faizel Khan told King5: ‘No, I don’t think anyone has won anything out of this I think we’ve actually lost.’
The area around the East Precinct and Cal Anderson Park remains closed to the public with only those who live and own businesses there allowed back in.
‘I think we’ve lost a mayor. We’ve lost a city council person. We’ve lost residents. We’ve lost small businesses. We’ve lost the Black Lives Matter movement. The loss of life for children is the worst part of it’, business owner Khan added.
One anonymous shop owner added: ‘It seems like we’re supposed to sacrifice our piece of mind, our safety, for this movement and that doesn’t seem fair.’
City workers were then left to clean up huge piles of trash and tents left behind by protesters as bulldozers moved in and crushed the camp.
City crews dismantle the Capitol Hill Organized Protest area outside of the Seattle Police Department’s vacated East Precinct
The clean up operation began at Seattle’s Capitol Hill Organized Protest (CHOP) zone on Wednesday
‘I was just stunned by the amount of graffiti, garbage and property destruction,’ police Chief Carmen Best said after she walked around the area.
A group of local business owners had sued the city, claiming that officials abandoned the area and made it impossible to run businesses because there was no police or fire protection.
Police confirmed they were forced to use pepper spray during the arrest of one person who was armed with a metal pole. They later added: ‘Individuals in crowd are throwing bottles at officers. Officers deployed pepper spray and are making arrests.’
Wearing helmets and wielding batons and rifles, Seattle police stood shoulder-to-shoulder on several streets while others created a makeshift fence with their bicycles, using it to push dozens of protesters back away from the center of the CHOP zone just east of downtown.
‘Our job is to support peaceful demonstration but what has happened on these streets over the last two weeks is lawless and it’s brutal and bottom line it is simply unacceptable,’ Best said.
One protest organizer, Derrek Allen Jones II, said some demonstrators attempted to stay but were surprised by the early intervention by officers who were ‘trampling everything I seen in sight, flipping tables.’
‘People were trying to hold their ground but you could see the cops literally storm through people’s beds while they were sleeping. And literally say ‘If you don’t get out, we will force you out or arrest you,’ he said.
Pictures show trash and debris being collected by city workers with tents and protest signs taken down
Protester Jessie Livingston, 36, told The Guardian: ‘We’re going to organize sit-ins, we’re going to spam the city officials, we’re going to show up to city council meetings, we’re going to do everything we know how to do. We’re not going anywhere.’
One man dressed in black was peacefully led away in handcuffs and other demonstrators sat on the wet ground until their small group was handcuffed and detained.
Police also tore down fences that protesters had erected around their tents and used batons to poke inside bushes, apparently looking for people who might be hiding. One officer took down a sign saying ‘We are not leaving until our demands are met: 1. Defund SPD by 50% now. 2. Fund Black Communities. 3. Free all protesters.’
After police evicted the protesters, heavy equipment was used to remove concrete barriers, cart away debris from the encampments while officers strung yellow caution tape from tree to tree warning people not to reenter.
The move to dismantle the area follows the shooting death of a 16-year-old boy, named as Antonio Mays Jr, in the early hours of Monday morning. A 14-year-old was also critically injured when eyewitnesses say armed security inside the zone fired 300 rounds.
TIMELINE OF VIOLENCE IN SEATTLE’S CHOP ZONE
June 8: Protesters occupy the area; police abandoned the precinct
June 20: A 19-year-old man is shot dead and a 33-year-old man was wounded
June 24: Nearby businesses and property owners filed a federal lawsuit against the city
June 29: Two teens shot – one fatally – in Jeep at zone’s concrete barriers
June 30: Barricades at Seattle’s cop-free zone are torn down as protesters replace concrete barriers with trash cans and couches
Early hours : Mayor Jenny Durkan demand all barriers are removed after a 525 per cent spike in violent crimes in the area
5am: Police swarm the zone
5:30am: Eyewitnesses say officers have cleared the area
7am: Chief Carmen Best confirms police have taken back precinct
Lorenzo Anderson, 19, was shot on the protest area on June 20.
His father, Horace Lorenzo Anderson, said: ‘This doesn’t look like a protest to me no more. That just looks like they just took over and said we can take over whenever we want to.’
Volunteer medic Marty Jackson had described the area as an ‘active war zone’ and said: ‘I don’t think we’re gonna stop here.’
‘The recent public safety threats have been well documented,’ Mayor Jenny Durkan said at a news conference Wednesday afternoon. ‘These acts of gun violence resulted in the tragic deaths of two teenagers, with multiple others seriously wounded. Despite continued efforts to deescalate and bring community together, this violence demanded action.’
Durkan also said while she supported the police in making arrests Wednesday, she doesn’t think many of those arrested for misdemeanors should be prosecuted. She also said she was committed to work that would dismantle systemic racism and build true community safety.
‘Events in the Capitol Hill Organized Protest zone this morning, while necessary, should not diminish the cause of racial justice,’ Gov. Jay Inslee said in an emailed statement.
Best said in addition to the fatal shootings, robberies, assaults, violence and property crimes have occurred in the area in the last few weeks.
She said she wanted police to move back into the precinct so officers could better respond to needs in the area.
Protesters have said they should not be blamed for the violence in the area.
There had been mounting calls by critics, including President Donald Trump, to remove protesters.
Wearing helmets and wielding batons and rifles, officers converged on the area at dawn
Mayor Jenny Durkan, right, had demanded all barriers be removed from the city’s ‘occupied’ protest zone after a 525 per cent spike in violent crimes in the area. Chief Carmen Best, right, said: ‘The CHOP has become lawless and brutal. Four shootings–-two fatal—robberies, assaults, violence and countless property crimes have occurred in this several block area’
City workers begin to dismantle tents and barricades left behind after the CHOP area in Seattle was reclaimed by police
Attorney General William Barr praised Best for what he called ‘her courage and leadership in restoring the rule of law in Seattle.’
‘Chief Best has rightly committed to continue the substantive discussion while ending the violence, which threatens innocent people and undermines the very rule-of-law principles that the protesters profess to defend,’ he said in a statement.
Seattle Black Collective Voice, which was formed by people in the protest zone, said previously that their work would continue even if they were forced out of that area.
On Wednesday afternoon the group said via Twitter, ‘We don’t end with CHOP.’
The group said on Thursday that most protesters had redirected their organizing to other areas of the city in the past week and that actions of the police Wednesday ‘made it clear they have no intention of changing or reimagining.’
Also this week, Seattle City Council President M. Lorena González said the council won’t investigate council member Kshama Sawant as Durkan requested because González wants the council to focus on other work, The Seattle Times reported.
Durkan on Tuesday asked the council to investigate Sawant, accusing her of opening City Hall to protesters June 9 and participating in a protest march to Durkan’s home on Sunday.
Sawant has said she did not organize the march and called Durkan’s request an attack on working people’s movements.