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Seattle police clear protest zone after flares of violence

REUTERS/Lindsey Wasson/File Photo

Seattle authorities moved on Wednesday to dismantle a protest zone that the city’s police chief derided as “lawless and brutal” and which had prompted U.S. President Donald Trump to call for action against demonstrators.

Officers, wearing extra protective gear, entered the “autonomous zone” early and by mid-morning had arrested 23 people, including one man with a metal pipe and kitchen knife, according to the police department’s Twitter feed. Police reported no violent interactions.

Police moved to retake the zone after Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan declared the gathering in and around the police department’s East Precinct and Cal Anderson Park an “unlawful assembly,” the police chief, Carmen Best, said in a statement that highlighted a recent spate of shootings.

Police were walking in and out of the precinct on Wednesday, re-establishing control. Weeks earlier, they abandoned the building following clashes with protesters in the wake of the May 25 killing in Minneapolis of George Floyd, a Black man, at the hands of that city’s police.

1st July 2020

News Source Reuters

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