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Smoke and flash bangs: WATCH protesters scatter in PANIC in Seattle after ignoring police orders

Smoke and flash bangs: WATCH protesters scatter in PANIC in Seattle after ignoring police orders
Officers in Seattle, Washington used stun grenades to disperse a crowd of protesters after repeatedly warning them to stop moving a barricade towards the police line. There were unconfirmed reports of tear gas use as well.

Videos from a rally on Pike Avenue and 11th Street show explosions and smoke scattering the protesters around 8 pm local time, along with what some claimed was tear gas.

Police had previously put on gas masks, according to Simone Del Rosario, a reporter with the local TV station KCPQ. She described “what feels like a little tear gas” but later said was pepper spray.

“They keep saying they are committed to maintaining a peaceful protest. It feels less likely that it’ll end that way right now,” Del Rosario tweeted shortly before the explosions.

Another reporter on the scene, Juan Vega de Soto, confirmed the presence of gas masks and noted that protesters had pushed the barrier almost ten meters towards the police line. 

De Soto did not mention teargas, however, only that flashbangs were used to disperse the crowd.

Chase Burns from the Stranger also captured the moment of the confrontation.

Police Chief Carmen Best later told reporters no CS teargas was used, only OC pepper spray.

Seattle PD said that individuals from the crowd threw "rocks/bottles/and explosives at officers," injuring several. They posted a photo of what they said was an improvised explosive device.

Most of the responses claimed the photo showed an ordinary candle in a glass jar, but others pointed out that normal candle wax does not look that powdery.

Earlier on Saturday, Chief Best announced the city would suspend the use of tear gas for 30 days, after concerns were raised over its deployment against protesters.

Mayor Jenny Durkan, a Democrat, said there would also be a review of crowd control techniques involving “accountability partners” to “better emphasize de-escalation tactics.”

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