SEATTLE -- Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan announced a city-wide curfew from 5:00 p.m. to 5:00 a.m. for Saturday and Sunday, May 30 and 31 after chaos broke out downtown.
“While most of those protests were peaceful, there have been isolated but significant events of violence and destruction. This temporary curfew is intended to preserve the health and safety of our residents by keeping our streets safe and accessible for essential workers and first responders and preventing the further spread of COVID-19,” said Mayor Durkan.
"The curfew is intended to prevent violence and widespread property damage, and to prevent the further community spread of COVID-19 through continued gathering," the city wrote in a news release.
"The temporary curfew does not impact people who need to commute to work during these hours, people experiencing homelessness, people in a medical emergency or people in a dangerous situation, first responders, health care workers, and the news media. In addition, the curfew does not require businesses to close while it is in effect, and it will not alter public transit schedules."
National Guard activated
Gov. Jay Inslee late Saturday announced that he activated up to 200 members of the National Guard. That was in response to a request from the city of Seattle to help manage a chaotic scene in downtown.
Read the letter here
Multiple police cars were set on fire and destroyed near Westlake Center.
"The National Guard is on stand by to assist the Seattle Police Department as requested by Mayor Durkan," Inslee said. "They will be unarmed and assist with infrastructure protection and crowd movement. They will only be utilized if absolutely necessary and we appreciate their efforts to help in this important work."
Inslee said the guard personnel will be unarmed and be directed by Seattle officials, who requested the help to protect property and manage crowds who had gathered in response to the killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis.
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Thousands of people gathered in downtown Seattle to protest the killing of George Floyd and a largely peaceful gathering turned rowdier Saturday afternoon.
Police deployed flash bangs and pepper-sprayed some demonstrators who got close to police lines. Police on bicycles pushed back several protesters.
A police spokeswoman, Sgt. Lauren Truscott, said some people were arrested though she didn’t have an exact figure.
The Washington State Patrol closed both directions of Interstate 5 through downtown Seattle as a protest over the killing of George Floyd spilled onto the freeway Saturday afternoon.
"The freeway is not a safe or appropriate place for demonstration,” state patrol Chief John Batiste said in a statement.
Thousands of people gathered in downtown and a largely peaceful early afternoon rally turned rowdier, with police pepper spraying demonstrators and deploying flash bands. Police said arrests were made but an exact figure wasn’t available.