Various body-worn cameras and social media recordings showed explosives going off near officers as they tried controlling a crowd in the city’s SODO neighborhood during an anti-cop protest. At one point, officers could be seen briefly retreating as explosives are hurled at them.
Another angle shows an explosive loudly going off near an officer on a bicycle.
WARNING: GRAPHIC LANGUAGE
A total of 6 officers were injured in Sunday's riot. One officer was hospitalized and has since been released, but has not returned to duty.
Bodycam & open source video from the evening show the types of explosives used to injure officers during the riot. https://t.co/bzkpf2URfd pic.twitter.com/O4UIs3rSN6
— Seattle Police Dept. (@SeattlePD) August 18, 2020
The protest march began around 7 p.m. with 100 people and a few vehicles following behind, the Seattle Police Department said. Just before 10 p.m., someone in the crowd set off a large explosive and attempted to break a police vehicle window, police said.
After the crowd was told to disperse, officers were pelted with rocks and bottles at officers, along with explosives. One explosive went off right next to a woman as she was being escorted by an officer.
“Multiple explosives were thrown toward officers,” a police news release read.
Several cops were hit with the munitions and injured, the Seattle Police Department Monday night. One sustained an injury to the eye and another suffered burns to the back of the neck. Another officer was taken to a hospital and released but has not returned to duty.
A riot was declared and officers used blast balls and pepper spray to stop the chaos, the police department said. The crowd eventually dispersed and 18 people were arrested.
The unrest comes after city leaders approved plans last week to slash the police budget, prompting police Chief Carmen Best to resign, which becomes effective Sept. 2. Best resisted plans to cut the department by 100 officers and cutting the police department’s $400 million annual budget by $3 million.
“The idea that we’ve worked so incredibly hard to make sure our department was diverse, that (it) reflects the community that we serve, to just turn that all on a dime and hack it off, without having a plan in place to move forward, is highly distressful for me,” she said last week.