A mob of about 150 people gathered near the former CHAZ/CHOP in Seattle’s Capitol Hill neighborhood and spent several hours last night smashing windows, setting fires and looting stores. The SPD police blotter has the full rundown:
The group roamed about the Capital Hill neighborhood, doing massive amounts of property damage, looting, shooting fireworks, and committing arson.
Individuals from the group broke the windows of a business in the 1400 block of East Olive Way and then started a fire inside. Seattle Fire was called to extinguish the fire.
The group then went to the 1500 Block of 11 Avenue, breaking more businesses’ windows along the way. Individuals then broke into a business, took merchandise, and put it in middle of the street where they lit it on fire.
The group went to Broadway and Madison, where individuals used baseball bats and pipes to break windows at a store. They threw fireworks into the store and then began looting.
The group headed to the area of Summit and Madison where they damaged property at two banks.
Here’s what some of that looked like. The East Precinct is the one that was at the center of CHAZ/CHOP.
They targeted a store owned by the wife of a Seattle police officer. smashing their way in and looting it to set a fire in the street.
A couple of banks were vandalized. Note the graffiti: ‘Capitalism kills.’
Uncle Ike’s is a pot shop:
This one is a shoe store:
And they smashed the windows of a Whole Foods:
The police were trailing the mob throughout the night but didn’t arrest anyone. It’s not clear why they decided to hang back but I have a guess. Just a few days ago 12 officers were injured after a clash with a similar mob (maybe some of the same people) outside the West Precinct. When I wrote about that on Monday there wasn’t any clear video of that conflict but police have since released bodycam video showing officers were pelted with water bottles and multiple large fireworks. At least one officer was burned and transported to the hospital. Again, this footage is from Sunday, not from last night and be warned there is some NSFW language.
So this is what happens when officers confront the mob. Why get confrontational and risk officers getting hurt when police can just monitor the damage from a distance. It’s true there are only a handful of people in the group who are swinging bats and breaking windows, but everyone who is part of this group knows what the collective goal is. They all participate by blocking cameras or simply providing a large mob for the real vandals to blend into as they roam through the city. They should all be in jail together, but until Mayor Durkan musters the political will for that kind of confrontation, the mob has been given free rein to smash whatever it wants.