SEATTLE - We saw another weekend of destruction on Seattle streets. This time windows were smashed at City Hall and the Columbia Tower, and rioters left a trail of destruction in other parts of the Seattle core.
Seattle Police Chief Adrian Diaz said while First Amendment rights to organize and protest will be protected, unlawful and criminal behavior will not be tolerated.
“We cannot do this work by creating a new model of community safety while fires burn in our streets, windows are breaking, officers are injured every night and community members are placed at risk. This is not what Seattle is all about and this is not who we want to be,” said Chief Diaz.
During the Sunday news conference, Chief Diaz said there are groups publicly posting their mission of disrupting policing in Seattle - whether that’s tying up police resources that impact public safety or putting the department in further spending during a fiscally challenged year.
“I’m sad about Seattle because people talk so badly about it,” said Susie Maxwell. “The protest is real. The protest is correct, I feel, because of all the deaths by police officers.”
Maxwell is a native Seattleite with ties to the Ballard neighborhood, but now she calls Lynnwood her home.
“Most of the people that are causing the problem, 95 percent of them, are from outside," she said.
We met small business owners Karma and Joey Lee of Bobae Coffee and Tea located in Woodinville. The shop prides itself in using high quality and house-made ingredients.
The couple said it’s been a struggle for business owners all around, and they sympathize with their fellow business neighbors in Seattle.
“I have to say I am a little scared every time I want to go down. You never know what’s going on. I do think what’s happening is important, but I have seen a lot of business down there suffering. It’s like a ghost town,” said Karma when asked about Seattle.
“Our heart goes out to all our brothers and sisters out in downtown Seattle in terms of having to not only endure Covid, but all these ransacks and all these things they are going through security purpose wise,” said Joey.
Chief Diaz said it’ll be up to the entire community to pull together and stop illegal activity that is happening each night.
He also acknowledged the need for more officers to respond to other crime issues, and that in the next few days 100 officers will be moved back into patrol to respond to calls for service.