Jacob Blake’s aunt calls for peaceful protests in nephew’s name

The day after Seattle Police arrested more than a dozen protesters in multiple demonstrations, the aunt of Jacob Blake told a group of people in front of City Hall to peacefully protest in her nephew’s name.

Blake was shot in the back by a police officer on Sunday in Kenosha, Wisconsin. His aunt lives in Auburn, Washington, and hopes to build momentum against police brutality throughout Western Washington.

“I would like you to come out to everything that has my nephew’s name on it so that, just like George Floyd, people feel the love reach out to them halfway across the country,” Nicole Blake Chafetz said. 

Blake Chafetz said she is urging people to peacefully protest in her nephew’s name, but said she could not control individual actions and noted that people are driven to protest in different ways.

Protests have been happening in Seattle for three full months since the murder of George Floyd, but the ramifications are ramping up for some rioters. 

Federal authorities have asked local prosecutors to transfer at least two people into federal custody to face charges related to arson and vandalism. 

After people shattered windows at three Capitol Hill businesses on Wednesday night, Seattle Police arrested Sami Horner for investigation of breaking windows and said they found a Molotov cocktail in his backpack. Federal authorities told the King County prosecuting office they intend to take custody of the case.

Horner was one of 14 arrests Wednesday night, 12 of whom were booked, according to SPD. But not all arrests were related to violent protests or vandalism. 

Nearby, in the Eastlake neighborhood, demonstrators were holding a peaceful, sit-in vigil outside the Washington State Patrol office. It was in honor of Summer Taylor, who was killed after being hit by a car during a protest on Interstate 5 in July. WSP was tasked with shutting down traffic on the interstate that night but the driver was able to reach protesters by going the wrong way down an off ramp.

The vigil Wednesday night was being streamed on Facebook when SPD told demonstrators to move the ‘car brigade’ meant to protect the demonstrators, expressing concern that blocking the road was creating a safety hazard. It escalated after officers ordered the demonstrators to disperse, using pepper spray and making arrests when people stayed. 

A live streamer for Rebellion Baby, Christina, said she was attacked by a police officer after repeated attempts to identify herself as press and an observer of the night’s events. 

“I was calm, I did not scream anything to the police to agitate them in any way, shape or form, I literally was just there documenting and recording what was going on,” Christina said, “The cop grabbed my phone, he purposefully grabbed my phone and my gimbal and literally ripped it out of my hands and threw it in the street.”

The interaction plays out on the live stream. Christina said officers prevented her from retrieving her phone and gimbal and told her to leave or else she’d be arrested. Rebellion Baby is now working to raise funds to replace the equipment.  

When asked about the incident, Seattle Police said they didn’t know enough about what happened to comment at this time. An employee in the public affairs department did say they were checking to see if the phone was logged in found property.