Afterward, the police precinct, along with apartments and businesses on the block, were sprayed with foam fire suppressant to help protect them from a “credible threat” to burn the structure down. It was a prudent precaution after a Minneapolis police precinct was torched and suffered damage in the first few days of the protests over Memorial Day weekend.
Firefighters are standing by to protect the building and nearby businesses. Protesters, touting their victory against police, immediately declared the area a “cop-free zone” and sprayed barricades bordering the area with the words “now leaving the USA” and entering the “Capitol Hill autonomous zone” or “Free Capitol Hill.”
Still, protesters still weren’t satisfied. With police standing down Tuesday night, thousands of them broke into Seattle’s City Hall to demand that Mayor Jenny Durkan, a Democrat, resign over her failure to immediately embrace the push to defund the police. (Several members of the City Council had joined the frontlines of protests and earlier that day agreed to consider a proposal to cut police funding by 50%.)
The chaotic events that have unfolded in Seattle over the past several days offer the latest evidence of sharp political clashes over public officials’ responses to the violence and destruction accompanying more peaceful protests against racial injustice across the country.