The Seattle Police Department is being mocked on Twitter after posting pictures of the "improvised explosives" that caused several officers' injuries. The photo showed broken white columns, which upon closer inspection appear to just be candles. Seattle Police Chief Carmen Best said two officers were hospitalized and did not give details about the explosives, reports KIRO.
Police said the "improvised explosives" were thrown when protesters gathered outside the East Precinct and began moving barricades, despite orders to stop at around 7:30 p.m. "Individuals began throwing rocks/bottles/and explosives at officers. Several officers injured due to improvised explosives," the police said on Twitter.
At about 7:30 p.m. demonstrators outside the East Precinct began moving barricades at 11th and Pine despite multiple requests from police to stop. Individuals began throwing rocks/bottles/and explosives at officers. Several officers injured due to improvised explosives. pic.twitter.com/cbW6hWhIvy— Seattle Police Dept. (@SeattlePD) June 7, 2020
During the Capitol Hill protest, police used blast balls and pepper spray to disperse the crowd, police confirmed. They did not use tear gas since Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan and Best previously agreed to not use it on protesters for the next month on Friday. There were several local politicians joining the protest, including Seattle City Council members and Washington state Senator Joe Nguyen and state Rep. Nicole Marci, reports the Seattle Times. City Council member Girmay Zahilay live-streamed the protest, calling the police response "just unacceptable" and said they need to "de-escalate."
"""Improvised explosive"""" pic.twitter.com/lXR652OrEB— 🐺Izzy’s Magnificent Mansion🏳️🌈 (@avatar_izzy) June 7, 2020
Before the protests started, protesters held a rally to honor Charleena Lyles, who was killed by police officers in 2017. Many supporters called for a defunding of the police, an idea gaining support across the country during the protests of George Floyd's death in Minneapolis. "We’re sending nurses into battle every day battling this pandemic with no correct PPE, but meanwhile you can send a police officer in full riot gear... to pretty much punish peaceful protests," Leo McGee told the Seattle Times at the rally.
The Seattle police's photo of the "improvised explosives" was not the first time a police department shared photos of objects thrown at officers. On Friday, Portland, Oregon police were also mocked for sharing a photo of an apple, a White Claw hard seltzer can, a brick and a can of beans, which were all thrown at officers. Many found the picture funny, especially considering police have worn full riot gear and fired tear gas in response to protesters.
The guys dressed like this, shooting off tear gas and flash bangs to stampede peaceful protestors, are trying to call a candle a bomb. pic.twitter.com/nHOrjx0WKf— Ned Pyle (@NerdPyle) June 7, 2020
Floyd's death on May 25 has inspired protests against police brutality and racial inequality across the country. Floyd died in Minneapolis police custody when Derek Chauvin kept his knee on Floyd's neck for almost nine minutes, even after Floyd lost consciousness. Chauvin was fired and charged with second-degree murder and manslaughter. Three other officers at the scene were fired and charged with aiding and abetting second-degree murder.