“This was not permitted, not peaceful," said Assistant Seattle Police Chief Mike Sanford this afternoon at a press conference called to release edited police video of Monday's events at the Port of Seattle. "This demonstration was in really sharp contrast to previous Occupy demonstrations that were peaceful, permitted marches."
To me, one of the most interesting parts of the press conference was the news that the Seattle Police now have two videographers and one photographer, in plain clothes, recording protests from their perspective. These SPD employees took about 40 minutes of video on Monday, reporters were told, and today the police released about five minutes of that video, which reconfirmed and added more evidence to what's already been reported: Protesters raided a nearby junkyard to build a makeshift barricade near the intersection of Klickitat Avenue Southwest and Southwest Spokane Street on Monday, and when police moved in to clear the street protesters began throwing things at them.
The police video shows road flares and what looks like a large piece of wood being thrown at officers. It also shows the ground littered with bags of paint after the protesters were cleared, and zooms in on one officer with paint splattered over his face and uniform. Sanford said bricks and sharpened rebar were also thrown.
“Think about it from the perspective of an officer who’s standing on the line," said Asst. Chief Sanford. "People have just thrown bags of paint at you… And then people are throwing road flares at you. It’s scary. It’s very scary.” Also, he said: "It's very dangerous."
Sanford put the size of the crowd at about 500, and said 11 people were arrested on charges of failure to disperse, obstructing, and assaulting an officer. He asked the public—and the Occupy movement—for help identifying the people who were throwing things at officers, so that the SPD can try to charge them with felony assault.
“This is something that is deeply concerning to me because of the danger to the police officers," Sanford said. “That is not the message that Occupy wanted to get out.”
I'll post the video
shortly when the SPD sends over the embed code. Sandford said it shows John Helmiere, the minister who has accused the SPD of brutalizing him. But from what I saw, it doesn't completely answer the question of what happened to him.