19 arrested, 1 officer injured in protests that disrupted Seattle traffic

SEATTLE --Nineteen people have been arrested and a Seattle police officer suffered an ankle injury as protesters chanting "black lives matter" disrupted traffic in Seattle, blocking part of a state highway and interstate off ramps.

Protesters temporarily blocked traffic Monday afternoon in the northbound lanes of Aurora Avenue North and also on the Mercer Street on-ramp and off-ramps from I-5.

Police were first called to Highway 99 just north of the Battery Street Tunnel around 2:30 p.m.

Officers with bikes moved to clear protesters from the roadways, and by about 4:30 p.m. both State Route 99 and the interstate off ramps were opened to traffic.

Organizers said they were engaging in "civil disobedience" to protest police violence.

The Seattle Police Department later issued this statement:

"A group of protesters blocked traffic on Highway 99 around 2:30 p.m. today before moving on to block traffic at the Mercer Street/Interstate 5 exit.

Officers moved in quickly and made arrests but not before the incident caused heavy delays in the area. At least one protester assaulted an officer, causing injuries that required emergency treatment at Harborview Medical Center.

Nineteen protesters have been arrested. The officer has been discharged from the hospital."

The protesters were reportedly locking arms using the long PVC pipe to hold themselves together.