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An event was held in Green Lake Park in Seattle on Saturday to "Defend SPD and all Law Enforcement." Antifa, local agitators, and Black Lives Matter activists disrupted the peaceful pro-police rally. The Seattle Police Department kept their distance.
The event was organized by "Back The Blue-Washington" and was staged in a public park near a children's playground. Some neighbors were not happy about the event being held where their kids play and where they walk their dogs and said that organizers should have anticipated the violent response from Black Bloc activists.
A few dozen peaceful protesters showed up to show support for SPD. According to participants, the Antifa group did include people who seemed genuinely interested in discussions and finding common ground with event organizers. Some were even invited to speak. Unfortunately, the majority of the Antifa group were more interested in shouting down and harassing the pro police participants.
According to KIRO 7 news "…officers mostly looked on at a distance as the 2 sides got into skirmishes. The KIRO report continued "There were no Seattle Police Officers in this crowd. They were hanging back on the perimeter of Green Lake."
According to organizers of the pro police event, they had to call 911 because people were assaulted and spit on. Officers were just a few feet away and eventually did come in to separate the groups but not for long. According to KIRO "Suddenly, officers got the order to retreat, to the delight of those appearing to chase them away."
Participants were shocked and even reported that officers taking statements after the assaults were not happy that they were being given the stand down and retreat order from their commanders.
Seattle residents in the weeks since the official defunding of over 100 officers from the SPD by the Seattle City Council have reported numerous occasions of calling 911 and being told that no one was coming to help them because the police were dealing with riots elsewhere in the city.
A recently released Crosscut/Elway poll shows that the majority of Seattle residents do not agree with a 50 percent defunding of the Seattle Police Department and would prefer reform instead. Only 20 percent of voters nationwide support cutting police funding by half.
In response to the struggles responding to 911 calls, Seattle interim police Chief Adrian Diaz recently launched the Community Response Group consisting of over one hundred officers and sergeants. CRG is not assigned to any one specific precinct and will respond to spikes in any area around the city.
Green Lake residents and pro police demonstrators were left wondering how successful the new group would be since SPD left peaceful protesters and park visitors, even after calls to 911, to face violent Antifa activists alone.