Bellevue Police Department Police Chief Steve Mylett called this weekend’s protest a win for all involved after bringing large police presence and a city-wide issued civil emergency and weapons ban on Saturday, Oct. 24, to a group of people marching in the downtown area.
The organizers, who have hosted or promoted daily evening Seattle protests since May, tweeted out about a protest for Bellevue earlier this week. The tweet gained attention, stating the protest would be a “wake up call” for “some of the richest folks in the world.”
For the protest organizers, the large attention drawn to their demonstration was a successful night for community engagement, and set the stage for future Eastside support. Lots of literature and discussions happened at the event as well, according to organizer’s Twitter thread.
While the demonstrations that have continued to take place throughout King County, the protest appeared to draw serious concerns in Bellevue, where police have arrested and sent 70 cases of reported looting to proseutors from the May 31st break-in of the Bellevue Square Mall at the same time as a large Blacks Lives Matter protest was taking place, as previously reported by Bellevue Reporter.
Bellevue police warned residents to stay out of downtown Bellevue for the Oct. 24 protest in a tweet, while stating it would “not tolerate lawlessness” but that is welcomed peaceful demonstrations. Police blocked off streets while following the protesters throughout the evening, and two hours into the event Bellevue declared a civil emergency and banned use of any items that could damage people or property in the downtown area.
The emergency order was, according to the city, due to “multiple opposing groups” being reported in the downtown area.
Police tweeted about a confrontation where one counterprotester approached the group, and the protest organizers state they deescalated situations when confronted with counterprotesters that evening. The city eventually lifted the ban at 10:45 p.m., when the protest has mostly dispersed. At least one person involved was arrested, for driving with a suspended license, according to police.
Bellevue Police also state there was no property damage or injuries.