Following a weekend of civil unrest including what can best be described as a Saturday night riot, Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan imposed a curfew of 6 p.m. Monday, and protests were also brewing in neighboring cities where there was some trouble Sunday night.
Under Durkan’s ‘emergency order establishing prohibited items” within a certain section of the city, noticeable by their absence is a specific reference to firearms, although she did mention guns during press conferences.
The new curfew—it’s later than the original 5 p.m. curfew imposed Saturday—may allow more time for demonstrators to clear the streets, after having left the downtown area in shambles Saturday night. However, scores of volunteers showed up early Sunday morning to help clean up the mess.
Imposing a gun ban might be a sticky problem because state law and the state constitution specifically provide for the bearing of arms in defense of one’s self and the state. Some businesses reportedly have hired security to prevent a repeat of Saturday’s devastation.
According to the state Department of Licensing, more than 102,000 King County residents, where Seattle is located, are licensed to carry. That could raise a problem if someone decides to challenge the provision.
Thousands of protesters were on the streets over the weekend, and not just in Seattle. But it is in the Jet City where the level of violence apparently surprised some authorities, though police did make some arrests.
Windows were smashed, stores were looted, some demonstrators and police officers were injured and several vehicles were burned.
The protests were in reaction to the death of George Floyd, the Minneapolis man who apparently died from asphyxiation after a now-fired police officer pressed his knee on Floyd’s neck for several minutes while the handcuffed man was lying prone on the pavement. Before passing out, Floyd told the officer he could not breathe.
That officer and three others were all fired. The officer who placed his knee on Floyd’s neck has been charged with third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter.
Other cities around the country have experienced violence in the aftermath of the Floyd incident. And several smaller cities around Seattle have been bracing for residual violence, though so far, none has materialized.
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