Bellevue declares civil emergency, police chief says gang members responsible for looting

BELLEVUE -- Mayor Lynne Robinson has declared a civil emergency in Bellevue after looters shattered storefronts, assaulted police officers and bystanders and stole from stores in Bellevue Square mall.

There's a curfew in effect from 5:30 p.m. Sunday - 5:30 a.m. Monday in the downtown area and east of I-405. In Seattle, a curfew is in effect from 5 p.m. Sunday - 5 a.m. Monday.

The Bellevue curfew states no person, with the exception of law enforcement and other emergency response activities, city and government officials and authorized media, shall enter or remain in the public right-of-way, or in the public parks, or at any other public place as bounded approximately on the West by 100th Ave NE, on the South by Main St/SE 1st St, on the East by 120th Ave NE/NE 1st St and on the North by NE 12th St.

Police Chief Steve Mylett said at a press conference Sunday evening that officers learned yesterday about known gang members planning to go to a planned peaceful protest in Bellevue and "cause trouble."

"They were not there to protest the tragic death of George Floyd. They were there to destroy," Mylett said. "We welcome peaceful protesting. We want citizens to exercise their rights. I didn’t even hear George Floyd’s name."

The looters and rioters came from another direction and joined with a small group of peaceful protesters before they began their crime spree, the chief said.

One Bellevue police officer was taken to the hospital, but Mylett would not give details on the officer's condition or how the officer was injured.

Mylett said he has requested assistance from the National Guard for the first time in his 31-year career in law enforcement.

"We stand united with the public on this. We’re disgusted by what happened to Mr. Floyd at the hands of law enforcement," Mylett said. "But how dare criminal elements come into our communities and destroy what people have worked so hard to build."


The events unfolded in Bellevue a day after rioters burned police cruisers, looted businesses and destroyed storefronts in downtown Seattle.

Thousands of people marched peacefully in Seattle Saturday afternoon until outside groups came in and caused destruction.