Seattle Police pepper spray unarmed, nonviolent dancing Pride & QFQ marchers
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Published on Jun 24, 2012
Read description for timeline of events:
1:01 AM Dance march leaves the intersection of E Pike St & 10th Ave, heads south on 10th
1:05 AM Group is prevented by a blockade of officers from re-entering Pride via 11th Ave behind the Wildrose tent.
1:09 AM As the group passes 13th Ave on their dance-march up Madison, two black SUVs swoop in to block the group's progress. Riot officers emerge, brandishing pepper spray.
1:10 AM Officers force the entire group into a small, easily targeted area on the sidewalk.
1:11 AM Police fire pepper spray into crowd of unarmed and nonviolent participants.
The Department of Justice is trying to pass reforms that require, and here I quote from May 17th AP coverage of SPD's objections to the DOJ's proposal: ""disengagement and de-escalation techniques" to calm agitated suspects or call in specialized units to reduce the need for force, and only use force proportional to resistance used by suspects."
I'll leave the video unedited to preserve the timeline of events and better convey what it was like to be there. Note that people who got off the street were pepper sprayed.
I apologize for stepping back after the spray, sacrificing the utility and quality of the video after that point. In my defense, I was suddenly distracted with this pressing issue: "OW OW IT BURNS, OUCH AUGH." I did recover quickly enough to assist some who got sprayed much more severely. I am not any of the people you can hear speaking toward the end. They sound shaken up, but can you blame them?
Context from jseattle's CapitolHillSeattle blog:
"A representative for the East Precinct tells CHS that SPD isn't concerned about the annual roaming dance party but will be watchful for any signs of trouble. "We always are concerned about groups who have a tendency to hijack events for their own purposes," the lieutenant said. We're told staffing is "much heavier" for Pride weekend as a matter of course given the large numbers of people the event draws to the city. If you see "any potential disruption," you're urged to call 911 immediately. UPDATE: SPD says East Precinct has "increased our staffing from that of last years to be able to better respond to such incidents" and "will have an emphasis patrol operating also that will allow us to designate resources for developing situations.""
Dear DOJ: Please help Seattle out. We desperately need the police oversight McGinn and the SPD are fighting so hard to prevent.
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