More than 200 protesters, some chanting "Black Lives Matter!" disrupted Black Friday shopping and downtown Seattle's traditional Christmas tree lighting ceremony. Police turned out in force, arresting five people, and Westlake Center closed early.
The tree was lighted on a rainy Friday evening. Shortly before 6 p.m., Seattle police turned shoppers away from Westlake Center, saying it was closed for the night. Mall security confirmed the shopping center had closed. The mall had been scheduled to stay open until 9 p.m.Westlake Center is smack in the middle of Seattle's downtown shopping area, surrounded by Nordstrom, Macy's and other stores.
In a statement, Mayor Ed Murray said that while he supports the protesters' First Amendment rights, "violence against property or police officers will not be tolerated in our city." Police said arrests included people accused of assaulting officers and damaging an officer's bicycle.
After the tree lighting, the mayor and Seattle Police Chief Kathleen O'Toole visited with young carolers who were interrupted by protesters, the mayor's office said.Mayor Murray thought his statement;
Seattle Mayor Ed Murray, reacting Monday night to events in Ferguson, Missouri, referred to “the murder of Mr. Brown” and said that many outside the African American community share the “tremendous hurt” at a grand jury’s decision not to indict the police officer who killed the teen.was going to immunize Seattle? Maybe he shouldn't have revised and extended his remarks;
Murray modified his remark shortly after his news conference.Have yourself a merry little Christmas, Seattle. While remembering you voted this guy into office.
“If he said ‘murder’, he intended to say ‘death’,” press secretary Jason Kelly said after checking with Murray.