Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan speak out about destructive street protests


Graffiti that resulted from downtown protests.

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SEATTLE — Graffiti resulting from protests in the city center. Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan said Tuesday that the city was working on new ways to protect freedom of expression and holding protesters accountable for vandalism during the demonstrations.

Your comments come hours after shop windows were broken and graffiti was sprayed on walls during a Monday night march to protest the police shooting of Daunte Wright near Minneapolis.

“We will support the people who protest peacefully, but the people who are only after destruction and crime will not tolerate it at all,” said Durkan.

No arrests were made and there were no violent clashes between protesters and police resulting in injuries. About 100 black-clad people gathered in Occidental Park in Pioneer Square before later marching through the city streets in the area.

Seattle Police Department officers employed a new tactic when following the protesters: they used a long-range acoustic device known as an LRAD. A police officer repeatedly urged protesters to be peaceful and repeatedly warned of possible arrests if violence did occur.

The LRAD can be loud at times, and the officers ‘announcements were often much louder than the protesters’ chants.

“We ask younot to block the road, ”was heard at one point during the incident.

Police apologized to residents in the area when officers provided progress information over the loudspeaker.

“We apologize to the neighbors and residents of Seattle.” an announcement said. “The group is marching south on 5th Avenue and Cherry Street.”

Police said a couple of windows were broken on the way.

“It’s just nonsense and I’m just sick of it,” said Teri McClain, who is black and lives in the BLM area. "

KOMO News asked Durkan if there were any new instructions that the police should follow as soon as vandalism began.

" Chief Diaz checks this every day and we speak regularly every time,if there is a protest about what they can do to respond in that way are better and prevent the vandalism, “she said.” It is difficult when a group of 100 people is walking through the city center to avoid any destruction of the Property to prevent. I don’t think anyone tolerates or condones this vandalism, but you have a very complex system, if you can’t prevent 100 percent from (vandalism) then how can you hold people accountable? It requires working with other existing systems. “

Durkan said her law firm is working with the King County attorney and prosecutor’s office to hold people accountable for incidents of violence during protests.

“I think curfews should be used in very rare caseswhen there is no other way to ensure public safety and the safety of the community, “she said. “None of the things the boss told me at this point would require an answer at this point.”

McClain suggested that warm weather could make the situation worse.

“This is still April,” she said. “Will that be (the case in) April, May, June, July (and) this summer when more people will be outside?”

As a black woman, she said she was frustrated, not with the marches, but with the one related vandalism.

“Black Lives Matter Spray Paint?” she said. “How dare you use Black Lives Matter when you’re out here making your own messthat will endanger my black life elsewhere. "