Bruce Harrell, Seattle city councilman who chairs the council’s public safety committee, has criticized a police bike officer’s arrest of a protester during last Friday evening’s May Day march in the Capitol Hill neighborhood.
The Seattle Times reports that Councilman Harrell questioned police officials about their approach Wednesday, saying the arrest “just seems idiotic to me.”
Harrell referred to aerial video that showed the bike officer racing toward a male protester in the anti-capitalist march, jumping off his bike and tackling the man.
Assistant Police Chief Steve Wilske told Harrell that police appeared to have probable cause to arrest the protester for assaulting a police officer.
Police Chief Kathleen O’Toole said late Wednesday in a statement she was “shocked and disappointed” by Harrell’s comments. She says they contradict “the overwhelming, positive feedback” police have received from the community.
Incident Commander Capt. Chris Fowler has said the march turned from a demonstration to a riot when the crowd began assaulting police. Sixteen protesters were arrested and nine officers were injured. (end)