HOMELESS SWEEP OF SEATTLE’S CAL ANDERSON PARK SPARKS CONTROVERSY

I am currently watching Converge Media's Live coverage of the sweeps and its now 8:45 AM.

It began earlier in the week on Monday when reports spread of the City of Seattle authorizing a sweep of the homeless encampment that has taken over part of Capitol Hill's Cal Anderson Park. There was a Seattle Police Department presence along with other City departments but the City ultimately decided to not move forward that day with clearing the park. The day was not without incident.

The Seattle Police Department released a statement later in the day.

"On 12-14-2020 at 0730 hours, while assisting the Parks Department with park closure notices, Parks Department, SPD, Outreach, CRT, MHPS were met with immediate resistance regarding our presence. Two signs were posted when suspect 2 assaulted a CRT officer, justifying a disengagement. As resources disengaged, they were followed by park occupants that refused to disengage. During disengagement, suspect 1 ran up and shoved an officer from behind. Subject was arrested after a struggle where he kicked an officer as well. Suspect 2 then circled the arrest scene and punched an officer doing crowd control for the arrest. Suspect 2 was pepper sprayed and fled on foot avoiding arrest."

ConvergeMedia Coverage of homeless sweeps at Cal Anderson Park

Friday was a different day. It started with a 15 minute warning. At approximately 7:30 AM PDT Seattle Police Department began another sweep; this time they had the park cleared within 30 minutes. As SPD broke through the homeless encampment barriers, they worked form the inside out to sweep the park of ALL occupants including press from multiple outlets. They used pointed rifles and "less lethal" munitions such as flash bang grenades to accomplish the task.

As the occupants of Cal Anderson Park were pushed into the surrounding streets several arrests were made by SPD of inhabitants and/or protesters that refused to leave the area. At one point, 30-40 protesters came down the hill to form a protest line at the nearest cross street. Police continue to push the protest lines back without any order to disperse the protest crowd on the streets.

Currently, there was only a dispersal order issued for Cal Anderson Park.

Protesters continue to organize outside of Cal Anderson Park while Police keep them off the grounds. Some say this is a battle to clean the park. Others say it's a violation of basic human rights. The battle for Seattle continues.

We will update as details come in.