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Thursday, May 2, 2013

City Files Light Misdemeanor Charges Against Six May Day Demonstrators

Posted by on Thu, May 2, 2013 at 12:05 PM

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  • bk

This just in from the office of city attorney Pete Holmes:

The City Attorney’s Office on Thursday charged six individuals who were arrested in downtown Seattle and held overnight in the King County Jail. Three others who were arrested posted bail overnight and will be considered for charges at a later time.

1) SH, 5/22/91, obstruction of an officer and resisting arrest, at 8th and Howell

2) GH, 4/17/91, obstruction of an officer and resisting arrest, at 400 block of Olive

3) BS, 6/3/85, obstruction of an officer, at 6th and Olive

4) PN, 5/19/68, obstruction of an officer, failure to disperse and resisting arrest, at 9th and Pine

5) JG, 9/21/87, obstructing of an officer, at 8th and Pine

6) DB, 12/30/92, property damage and obstruction of an officer, at Boylston and Pine

Resisting arrest is a simple misdemeanor, punishable by up to 90 days in jail and a $1,000 fine.

Obstruction of an officer, property damage and failure to disperse are gross misdemeanors, punishable by up to 364 days in jail and a $5,000 fine.

Someone pointed out in comments below—and it has been my experience as well—that "obstruction" and "assault" of an officer can be thrown around like candy after demonstrations and is often dismissed by courts after tedious and sometimes expensive procedures. (Ever tried to contest a nonsense traffic ticket? Imagine trying to contest a nonsense charge of assaulting an officer if, say, the police charged a demonstration, you fell over, and your foot accidentally touched an officer's boot. That happens.)

On the other side, the National Lawyers Guild has released its own statement:

Yesterday evening, the Seattle Police Department provoked violent confrontations with May Day protestors in downtown Seattle. The Seattle Chapter of the National Lawyers Guild condemns the unprovoked use of force, including the use of concussion grenades and chemical agents, against people who merely were exercising their First Amendment right to protest. The confrontation began when armed riot police moved in to break up a protest celebrating International Workers’ Day that was taking place in a public street at the corner of Fourth and Pine. The police then declared a public safety emergency and ordered people who were observing their actions to leave the area or be arrested, thereby insulating police actions from public scrutiny. When the protestors moved through downtown streets, the police set off multiple concussion grenades, causing a series of injuries to those who were struck by the exploding projectiles.

Crimes were certainly committed yesterday: Windows were broken, protesters threw rocks and plastic water bottles at police, police fired "exploding projectiles" directly into large crowds. But "obstructing an officer" is a measly charge that usually boils down to a he-said/she-said between a demonstrator and a cop.

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  • bk

Approximately 100% of the people at yesterday's evening march, including (especially) the journalists and photographers who were jockeying to get into the front lines for that sweet protest photo, could've been charged with obstruction.

It'll be interesting to see whether the police can find and charge any window-smashers and whether any demonstrators file suit for their injuries.

All in all, yesterday's early march for immigration reform was light and smooth and the evening anti-capitalist march was a bit of a clusterfuck. Both sides seemed clumsy and confused, full of passion but lacking tactical elegance.

 

Comments (51) RSS

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Will in Seattle 1
Good thing none of them were smoking pot.
Posted by Will in Seattle http://www.facebook.com/WillSeattle on May 2, 2013 at 12:09 PM · Report this
Fnarf 2
Lacking "elegance"? How about lacking any sense of a clue. Nobody's rights were violated. Some people were pepper-sprayed, with justification. Eight officers were injured.

You're right, though: everyone in that crowd was committing obstruction, and should be charged -- if they were worth the trouble. I'm sorry that more weren't sprayed or more permanently harmed.
Posted by Fnarf http://www.facebook.com/fnarf on May 2, 2013 at 12:22 PM · Report this
3
The question of the day: does the SPD receive funds from JPMorgan Chase, the largest criminal organization in North America, which has been charged with over 300 criminal penalties during the last 12 years for financial fraud (go to the SEC litigation release site and archives).

If the SPD, like the NYPD, receives funds from the premier criminal outfit, that means they are all crooked and on the pad.
Posted by sgt_doom on May 2, 2013 at 12:26 PM · Report this
Fnarf 4
Here's another thing to chew on: almost nobody in this city agrees with the NLG or The Stranger. And this half-assed protest, like all of its similar predecessors, does serious damage to the effort to reform the police, because you made the cops look good in comparison. You're fucking this city, and we want you to stop. If you won't stop, we support the effort to spray and beat you until you decide to go away.
Posted by Fnarf http://www.facebook.com/fnarf on May 2, 2013 at 12:27 PM · Report this
Eli Sanders 5
It's worth pointing out that the pictures you use to illustrate this post are from the mid-afternoon immigration reform march.

Zero people were arrested at that march.
Posted by Eli Sanders http://elisanders.net/ on May 2, 2013 at 12:28 PM · Report this
6
"Windows were broken, protesters threw rocks and plastic water bottles at police, police fired "exploding projectiles" directly into large crowds."

Windows were broken, fireworks were repeatedly shot both in the air and at police officers. GLASS bottles were thrown at police (and a couple plastic water bottles, I saw many more glass bottles). All it would take is looking at Olive after the mob had moved through to see the evidence of this.

Your writing indicates the police were entirely antagonists. From what I saw, they were quite professional in their dealings, not moving in until the crowd started using fireworks and lighting flares.
Posted by Tawnos on May 2, 2013 at 12:29 PM · Report this
Will in Seattle 7
@4 I think you mean "almost none of the elites and those who live outside Seattle", not "almost nobody in this city".
Posted by Will in Seattle http://www.facebook.com/WillSeattle on May 2, 2013 at 12:31 PM · Report this
8
So how come thousands of black and brown working class people, as opposed to white, middle class kids with college degrees, had no problems with the police? If you believe the world is shaped by white privilege, surely the immigrants would have been 'attacked' by the police?

Oh man, Slog's white privilege is hanging out like a festering pimple today.
Posted by Parade of Stupid on May 2, 2013 at 12:36 PM · Report this
9
@ 5. Untrue! One is from the afternoon march, one is from the evening march.
Posted by Brendan Kiley on May 2, 2013 at 12:40 PM · Report this
Will in Seattle 10
@8 I don't know, why don't you ask CNN, who decided to cover the former and not the latter?

In fact, NWCN did cover some of the activities in Spokane and other locations, but only after they were reminded that those were much larger events than the Ruckus On The Hill.

If it bleeds, it leads.
Posted by Will in Seattle http://www.facebook.com/WillSeattle on May 2, 2013 at 12:40 PM · Report this
Fnarf 11
@7, go fuck yourself, Will. 100% of the people in this city who know who you are think you're a packed diaper and would like to see you buried head-first in a landfill. Even the protesters are saying to themselves "fuck, Will in Seattle is on our side, maybe we ARE nimrods."
Posted by Fnarf http://www.facebook.com/fnarf on May 2, 2013 at 12:44 PM · Report this
Eli Sanders 12
@9: Apologies. One of them. Should have said: Zero people were arrested at the march depicted in the second photo.
Posted by Eli Sanders http://elisanders.net/ on May 2, 2013 at 12:46 PM · Report this
TomJohnsonJr 13
Lacking tactical elegance? Who teaches "tactical elegance", anyway? Drill Sergeant Cole Porter?
Posted by TomJohnsonJr on May 2, 2013 at 12:48 PM · Report this
14
@4 is correct. Looking at my FB feed, it was filled comments from friends of mine who are very far to the left, are very vocal against police brutality, etc. and even they were cheering the cops on last night. That says a lot about the morons "demonstrating" downtown.
Posted by Chali2Na on May 2, 2013 at 12:49 PM · Report this
Fnarf 15
Oh, and violent Cap Hill protestors in photo #1? You are shitting all over those good people in photo #2. Thanks so much for your input. Now cease to exist.
Posted by Fnarf http://www.facebook.com/fnarf on May 2, 2013 at 12:53 PM · Report this
16
"Cease to exist"? I'll do my best, Fnarf, but I can't promise anything.

Also, I know you're smarter than your hyperbole. I miss your reasoned, fact-based commentary. It used to be great.
Posted by Brendan Kiley on May 2, 2013 at 1:05 PM · Report this
Kinison 17
I had far right friends watch the KIRO feed like it was the super bowl "Come on hippies, smash some shit up" hoping the cops would immediately ponce on them and the protesters didn't disappoint these far right friends of mine, they were laughing their asses off to protesters screaming "police state" and "Who's street? our street!".

All my left leaning (not far left) friends were shaking their heads "wtf are they doing?".
Posted by Kinison http://www.holgatehawks.com on May 2, 2013 at 1:09 PM · Report this
katrat 18
It seems like this whole event became about both sides waiting for confrontation.Is May Day about celebrating the importance of Workers' Rights, or is it about tangling with the police? It seems like even before it began it was going to be about the latter, and wow imagine the hunk of budget that had to get spent on that .
Posted by katrat http://www.kathrynrathke.com/ on May 2, 2013 at 1:12 PM · Report this
19
Oh bullshit Brendon. It is not a "he-said/she-said" as there is likely ample video showing these asshats obstructing and assaulting the police. But hey, you seem as biased in favor of these assholes as the people who coined that phrase were of certain other assholes.

Why is it so fucking hard to believe that people who openly talk about provoking the police and breaking other people's things actually go and do those things?

Posted by giffy on May 2, 2013 at 1:15 PM · Report this
Fnarf 20
@16, were you throwing bottles at the police? Were you smashing windows? If you were, that's a shame. If you were marching in that crowd, once the first bottle lets fly, though, you did. Every individual member of a mob is responsible for the actions of the whole. That's how a mob gets its power. That's what the peaceful mob in photo #2 was doing, too. If you were in that group, you were fighting for justice.

If you were in the other group, you were FIGHTING AGAINST JUSTICE.

That's not hyperbole. That's understanding how crowds work, especially violent, anti-social crowds being lawfully made to move along. Those people are harming our city and harming the causes they believe in (or not, it's impossible to tell what if anything they believe).

There's nothing radical about it. Violent mobs are reactionary, and, whatever their beliefs, they strengthen the right wing. They have given up the conversation and moved into a mode of symbolic "speech" which is of violence and only violence. The group in photo #2 CHALLENGES the right wing.

You choose.
Posted by Fnarf http://www.facebook.com/fnarf on May 2, 2013 at 1:20 PM · Report this
Fnarf 21
@18, the difference is that waiting for confrontation is the police's job. I want a reformed police, not a police that sits around and lets assholes destroy stuff.
Posted by Fnarf http://www.facebook.com/fnarf on May 2, 2013 at 1:22 PM · Report this
22
Obstructing an Officer is what we used to call Contempt of Cop when I worked on criminal cases. It seemed like most of these cases were provoked by the officer. But that ain't scientifical. And also, it seemed to me that it was very few officers making up a large majority of these claims, thereby making what I see as the majority of officers, good, honest, hard-working women and men, look bad, undeservedly.
Posted by scratchmaster joe on May 2, 2013 at 1:36 PM · Report this
23
Fnarf, if you were half as smart as you fancy yourself to be, you'd be a friggin' genius. Moron.
Posted by Fnarfs mom on May 2, 2013 at 1:37 PM · Report this
treacle 24
Three windows smashed, protestors corralled on all four sides "like a mobile jail", and yet --curiously-- no arrests for property damage. WTF SPD? How did you miss the real villains?
Posted by treacle on May 2, 2013 at 1:41 PM · Report this
flaneur 25
"lacking tactical elegance"??
Have you seen the overhead helicopter video of the bike cops rolling the demonstrators back up to the hill by setting a line, opening a gap, sending 8-10 bikes through that gap to set a line further up the street and repeating as necessary? That, sir, was a very elegant tactical maneuver.
Posted by flaneur on May 2, 2013 at 1:50 PM · Report this
26
With one exception, those are all contempt-of-cop charges, which rarely stick, but which conveniently move bothersome people when there's no other authority to move them.

Obstruction and resisting arrest is a hilarious combination. Did they obstruct by resisting, or resist when being arrested for failure to lick boots?

And what the *fuck* is "failure to disperse"? A single person *cannot* disperse. They're charging PN with something that is, by definition, dependent upon the action (or inaction) of *other people*. If a cop tells a group I'm in to disperse, and everyone else moves the same way I move, we have not dispersed. How can that possibly be a crime on my part?
Posted by Phil M http://https://twitter.com/pmocek on May 2, 2013 at 1:51 PM · Report this
zivilisierter Wurm 27
What I don't understand is why anarchists live in the city to begin with. If you believe in anarchy, why not move to where you can actually build your own autonomous systems of social organization. It's like worms protesting against their rotten apple.
Posted by zivilisierter Wurm http://peregrinari.tumblr.com/ on May 2, 2013 at 2:08 PM · Report this
Phoebe in Wallingford 28
Anarchists should learn to voice their grievousness in a thoughtful, methodical, manner using a civilized approach - like the tea party movement a few years ago.
Posted by Phoebe in Wallingford on May 2, 2013 at 2:37 PM · Report this
29
I think, Brendan, that what you really miss is Fnarf agreeing with you. His arguments seem very well reasoned and fact based to me.
Posted by M. Wells on May 2, 2013 at 2:39 PM · Report this
Rob in Baltimore 30
27, They're anarchists in their minds with no real, or deep convictions. They congratulate themselves for being so noble, while in reality they're just angry at their parents. They protest society, while nursing on the teat of society. They'd fall apart quickly if they ever had to fend for themselves.
Posted by Rob in Baltimore http://www.wishbookweb.com/ on May 2, 2013 at 3:04 PM · Report this
trstr 31
@16:

Really? Seriously? Fnarf has an extensive and readily visible history of wishing physical harm on other people, which Slog has willingly allowed to be published for years and years. This approval of physical violent harm towards other people is exponentially more disturbing than a few empty water bottles thrown at thugs with IEDs and chemical agents and wooden batons.

Yet the Stranger allows him to spout off his crap and in essence implicitly endorses his advocation of serious physical violence against people. And more comments = more ad hits, which is the reason why creepy little violent fucks like Fnarf equate to more profits for Tim Keck.

This is fucked up.
Posted by trstr on May 2, 2013 at 3:24 PM · Report this
Cascadian Bacon 32
Funny that these "anarchist" don’t understand simple tenants of their own ideology like "The nonaggression principle" and the "social contact."

SPD let them off easy, they even allowed them their right to assemble which is far more than the SPD allowed us during WTO. But the over privileged child anarchist still cry foul when they receive a much deserved ass kicking from the SPD, who kept the kid gloves on.
Posted by Cascadian Bacon on May 2, 2013 at 3:38 PM · Report this
treacle 33
@27 - Where O where is there a place that one could actually build an autonomous community. Every square inch of land (in the USA at least) is controlled by someone; and "private" land is always beholden to state & federal laws. There is no place to go "away" to, that is a fantasy.

This underscores a fundamental problem: A state that enforces participation, yet which provides less and less for the common welfare (states allegedly being a contract between the people to provide for their common good). You cannot withdraw your participation, you cannot leave. There is no autonomy when the cops will simply break up your camp and arrest everyone, trash your stuff, and make you a criminal.

Riddle me that.

"...it’s like an eggshell theory of revolution. You just hollow it out until there’s nothing left and eventually it’ll collapse."
Posted by treacle on May 2, 2013 at 3:43 PM · Report this
34
@33It is far from impossible. There are islands for sale in countries that won't give a shit what you do. There are islands that lie in international waters. There are even places in the US where the government won't mess with you too much unless you start doing really crazy shit.

Hell I'd probably even support them if they just wanted some space somewhere to build their own society. If nothing else it would be interesting to watch.

But that is different from insisting that the rest of us suffer just because they are angsty.
Posted by giffy on May 2, 2013 at 4:00 PM · Report this
Rob in Baltimore 35
33, Living in a tunnel, and stealing from people isn't withdrawing from society. It leaching on society. It's the stealing that makes them criminals.
Posted by Rob in Baltimore http://www.wishbookweb.com/ on May 2, 2013 at 4:32 PM · Report this
zivilisierter Wurm 36
@33: There's plenty of places even in Washington (though fewer and fewer with the metastasis of the I-5 corridor.) So long as you pay your land taxes and don't provoke shit by declaring yourself Sheriff of Freedom County or publicly secede from the state, no one will fuck with you. Shit or get off the pot: either you learn to hunt, farm, and build the society you believe in, or shrug and enjoy the ride. We're all probably going to die in some sort of anthropogenic holocaust by 2050 anyways.
Posted by zivilisierter Wurm http://peregrinari.tumblr.com/ on May 2, 2013 at 5:08 PM · Report this
37
By far the greatest part of every May Day is how angry FnARF and the liberals get. This brings the score to Anarchists: 2 liberals: 0. See you next year, a**holes
Posted by blackflags http://seattlefreepress.org on May 2, 2013 at 5:11 PM · Report this
38
Now that Kiley got some award no one's ever heard of from a bunch of lawyers to shove up is ass with the collection of dicks, you could pretty much rape a baby on camera and he'd blame the police for stopping you.
Posted by FuckKiley on May 2, 2013 at 5:22 PM · Report this
Womyn2me 39
"...full of passion but lacking tactical elegance."

I am certain this should be our city's motto.
Posted by Womyn2me http://http:\\www.shelleyandlaura.com on May 2, 2013 at 5:26 PM · Report this
40
@37 Over here, south of Seattle by a thousand miles or so we @'s like to say that if you push a liberal far enough, sooner than later they will be threatening anyone and everything with physical harm. Just like crazy dude above. It's a great way to both troll and get them banned from internet comments.

The right wing trolls talking about their "liberal friends" on this thread are pretty funny too.

And lastly, I am excited to read some analysis from yesterdays events. From what the live streams and videos seemed to show a lot of non-anarcho folks seemed to have got caught up in the demo.
Posted by anarchololz on May 2, 2013 at 5:27 PM · Report this
41
@19, Giffy wrote, "Why is it so fucking hard to believe that people who openly talk about provoking the police [...] actually go and do those things?"

It's not hard to believe. Why is it so hard to believe that the response by police to provocation should be something other than the use of explosive devices and chemical weapons indiscriminately on everyone nearby? Or even on the provocateurs? Staying cool under pressure is part of the job.
Posted by Phil M http://https://twitter.com/pmocek on May 2, 2013 at 5:49 PM · Report this
42
@41 Fine. Next time let's just arrest them. I am sure some will resist, and a fair number of them and the cops will get hurt, but if they can't use things like tear gas to clear assholes out of the street and stop them from throwing things, there is not much left.
Posted by giffy on May 2, 2013 at 6:48 PM · Report this
passionate_jus 43
yep the city is going to be sued again because of a bunch of pigs who think they're above the law just because they have a badge and a gun
Posted by passionate_jus on May 2, 2013 at 7:53 PM · Report this
44
SH - Sebastian Harris, GH - Greg Hustead, BS - Bryanna Stader, PN - Paul Novasky, JG - Justin Gonzalez, DB - Devin Bahm.
Posted by say it loud, say it proud on May 2, 2013 at 8:17 PM · Report this
45
you're all a bunch of fucking pussies. You wouldn't know what to do if you actually had to make a legitimate stand against anything. blah blah blah, that's all you sheep got. You can keep it, and piss off.
Posted by your'e all soft on May 2, 2013 at 11:17 PM · Report this
46
@42: Giffy wrote, "Fine." With what are you approving? I didn't suggest anything. I asked a question using the same vague pattern that you used. I'll be more direct: Giffy, do you believe that the response by police to provocation should be the use of explosive devices and chemical weapons indiscriminately on everyone nearby? Do you believe that the use of such is an appropriate response when their targets consist solely of the people who provoked them?

Addressing the rest of your comment: I support the police arresting people suspected of violating the law. I don't want it to happen in cases of laws I think are unjust, but I would rather have police arrest people they suspect of violating laws I believe to be unjust than to have them selectively enforce the law. Such selection, when it happens, should be left to the judicial branch. Laws should be changed by our elected representatives and/or effectively changed via jury nullification, not by selective enforcement on the part of police officers.

I have seen, first hand, Seattle police use pepper spray on people who were not in the street, and who were not, by any stretch of the imagination, doing something that made it appear that they were violating any law.
Posted by Phil M http://https://twitter.com/pmocek on May 2, 2013 at 11:47 PM · Report this
AnonSeattle13 47
I was in the march from SCCC until we had reached Niketown. I saw one guy (an informant) jump on some cars and was trying to get people to join him in a riot. This is the same guy that protesters chased away after outing him as an informant. I also saw one girl throw something through Sun Liquor's glass door. My friend immediately confronted that person about it. I also saw a police car get hit with a pipe that was probably thrown by that same informant who jumped on the cars, earlier. I had a minor with me, and I had a feeling that things might get worse, so I started to leave, but was shoved by a blonde female officer for no reason. I found an exit and finally got out of there. I have spanned through the videos and nobody threw anything at the cops until they began arresting people and forcing people back with their batons. Only one cone and two water bottles were thrown after the police became forceful. That is when the first concussion grenade was thrown and all hell broke loose from that point. Police pepper sprayed and grenaded bystanders who weren't even part of the protest. If the cops had simply allowed them to march onward, things would've been fine. Especially, since only a few people out of about 700 people had any intention of doing any damage.
Posted by AnonSeattle13 on May 6, 2013 at 12:05 AM · Report this
AnonSeattle13 48
I would like to add that most of you commenting would've supported tear gassing the Million Man March and arresting Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. You people make me sick.
Posted by AnonSeattle13 on May 6, 2013 at 12:08 AM · Report this
49
@2: I'm sorry for every day that you aren't violently harmed.
Posted by treehugger on May 6, 2013 at 11:22 AM · Report this
50
@4: "If you don't stop our efforts to reform the police, we'll give you good reason to believe that there's no hope for reform for them at all."

Drunk morons also damage property when they get excited, do you also support SPD beating the hell out of them?
Posted by treehugger on May 6, 2013 at 11:26 AM · Report this
51
@37: Go live in the woods, you petulant child.
Posted by treehugger on May 6, 2013 at 11:27 AM · Report this

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