Protests continue around the region (and country) tonight. These protests can very quickly turn destructive and violent.
Officers from the Auburn Police Department are in Federal Way as a part of the Valley Cities Civil Disturbance Unit. Once the peaceful protest disperses, officers will return. Should any other agencies in the region require assistance they will redeploy to that location.
We are monitoring events and will do our best to update on anything pertinent. If there is a location you have specific interest in please let us know.
Southcenter: There were reports last night of Southcenter being a target. Today entrances to the mall have been blocked off and Tukwila PD are on scene monitoring the are. Many local stores and businesses have sent employees home and closed early. These steps have been taken in hopes of deterring rioters (looting a mall isn’t protesting) or lessen damage.
8:12PM: Reports of preliminary activity potentially (likely) related to the threats to loot and riot at and around Southcenter Mall have begun.
8:30PM: from Tukwila PD “Officers are on scene at the Southcenter Mall where a large crowd is attempting to gain access to the mall. Avoid the area.
Curfew will go into effect from 9PM to 6AM. Suspects in the group have thrown rocks and projectiles at officers. Bowlero, REI, Target and Firestone have been damaged. Looters are currently inside of Target. This group arrived and after amassing, they immediately rushed the mall and attempted to gain entry to the mall.”
Update 8:50PM: Best Buy, Target, Total Wine, the Asian Market and many other stores around the Southcenter are all being looted by rioters.
Units are working to recover stores overtaken by rioters.
WSP has been requested to block access ramps I-5 and I-405.
Roads are being blocked throughout the Southcenter area. These include: Southcenter Pkwy at Strander, Andover W at Southcenter Pkwy, Andover and Strander.
9:30PM: Additional roads are being closed to help contain the roving groups of looters.
EMS can only be sent in when PD confirm the area and/or situation is secure.
From Renton PD: “Looters have made their way to the Renton Walmart. Several Officers are responding and a request for more officers to respond to work has been made by the Chief. We are assisting TukwilaPD as well.
Looters now in the area of the landing. Officers already on scene more responding.”
8:30PM: We have confirmation that The Outlet Collection is working to secure the mall ASAP to prevent any potential damage or looting from rioters.
This is a proactive measure.
Bellevue: The planned march has devolved into vandalism and looting. Bellevue Square and the Braven have been entered.
Washington State Patrol has deployed resources to assist Bellevue PD in response to protests.
Update – 6:00PM: All I-405 ramps to downtown Bellevue are closed due to the protest.
6:34PM: Bellevue Mayor Lynne Robinson has declared a state of civil emergency. A curfew will be in effect in Bellevue from 5:30 pm to 5:30 am.
7:29PM: The National Guard has been requested. Multiple cities are sending officers to assist, including King County Sheriff’s Office. It has not officially been confirmed by APD, but per earlier conversations, APD officers are likely in Bellevue.
Seattle: Police and protesters have already begun clashing.
Washington State Patrol has shut down I-5 through downtown Seattle due to protesting to ensure the safety of all.
Update: Rioters are again causing damage and looting in downtown Seattle.
Federal Way: The scheduled BLM protest today has remained peaceful. Unfortunately, individuals described as ‘Antifa’ are near the peaceful protest.
A motorcyclist fell off his bike when standing on the bike’s seat. The motorcycle went into the crowd of demonstrators. Three people were injured, including the rider.
Law Enforcement on scene are monitoring the situation. They remain hopeful the protests will end without incident.
Update 4:52pm: Multiple rear-end accidents have occurred in this area.
Update 5:35pm: The demonstration is dispersing (on their own). The Valley Cities Civil Disturbance Unit has been released from Federal Way. They will very likely deploy to Bellevue.
Update 7:00PM: All officers assigned to the protest have been called back to the station.
A Message from the Auburn Examiner:
(The below is the opinion of Auburn Examiner founder and editor Elizabeth Miller)
For those protesting: please take precautions to remain safe. There are resources and guides for protesters, use them. Before getting involved, view footage of last night or previous Seattle protests. If you can not handle this type of activity, DO NOT PARTICIPATE.
To the officers responding to protests: This is a volatile time, we know. Yes, you will be tested. Yes, you will probably be threatened. You will likely be assaulted. Sure, stand the line, but please, hold to the oath you swore. You can help be a catalyst for change.
To our fellow journalists and media professionals: it is our job to tell this story, no matter what. Again and again, it is said the media is only here to manipulate events in order to push their agenda. Now is the time to step up, and report the true first draft of history.
Last updated: 5/31 4:45PM