King County Prosecutor Dan Satterberg reportedly will not be charging most of the people arrested by police during protests earlier this summer, except for 15 individuals who allegedly were not “peacefully protesting,” according to a report at MyNorthwest.com.
Among the cases that have been filed, according to reporter Hanna Scott, are for burglaries, a shooting and a vehicular homicide.
And there were “cases involving illegal guns” that are being prosecuted, Satterberg told Scott.
In a separate report at MyNorthwest.com, Seattle City Attorney Pete Holmes also said charges would not be filed against “peaceful protesters” in Seattle.
If people are simply marching peacefully, that is protected by the First Amendment.
As Satterberg explained, “Our rule in our office, first of all, the principle that protesting and airing your grievances against the government, that’s a sacred American right, and you shouldn’t go to a protest and then come home with a felony because things got out of hand.”
MyNorthwest said Holmes explained via email, “If you’re marching the streets, peacefully speaking your voice and out after the now-cancelled curfew, I have no interest in charging you with a crime.”
Critics of how protests in Seattle, and in Portland, Oregon over the past several weeks have been handled by authorities have critics complaining that this just makes violent demonstrators bolder. In Portland, the complexion of protests changed when federal officers moved in recently and began grabbing protesters and putting them in unmarked vehicles. Those suspects apparently were damaging or attempting to damage federal buildings, but Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler wants those federal officers out of his city.
In Seattle, gun rights activists had been vocal about a video showing one of the Capitol Hill protesters handing a rifle to a young adult out of the rear of a car. There was no background check, and no waiting period, as required by law.
Satterberg and Holmes both seem to be doing what protesters have been demanding lately.
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