A man drove a car at a crowd of anti-racism protesters in Seattle on Sunday, shooting and wounding a person who tried to stop him, police said.
In video of the chaotic scene circulated on social media, the car pulls up and is stopped by protesters wielding barricades. One man approaches the driver’s side window and appears to be shot.
The driver is then seen exiting the car with a gun and moving through the demonstrators toward a line of police officers, who took him into custody.
The 27-year-old gunshot victim was taken to hospital and was in stable condition, according to the fire department.
The assault came as protests against police brutality and systemic racism continued across the country, sparked by the death of George Floyd, a Black man who died May 25 after a Minneapolis white police officer knelt on his neck. Four police officers have been charged in Floyd’s death, with one facing a second-degree murder charge.
While protests in Minneapolis and other cities have calmed, relations between protesters and police in Seattle remain tense.
Protests during the day were peaceful, but around midnight Sunday, police started using pepper spray and flash-bangs against protesters to get them to disperse, according to the Seattle Times. The police said protesters were throwing bottles and rocks at them, and shining lasers into their eyes.
The standoff continued into the night, according to The Stranger. Protesters carrying umbrellas approached lines of police who fired gas back at them.
The incident with the car came shortly after Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan and Police Chief Carmen Best gave a press conference apologizing for police use of excessive force. They also blamed “bad actors” for causing clashes with police and said barricades would remain in place, the Seattle Times reported.
Seattle City Councilmember Kshama Sawant has called for Durkan to resign over the police response to the demonstrations. Local progressive leaders have supported an online petition calling for her resignation.