Improvised explosive devices (IEDs) were reportedly seized from rioters in both Seattle, Washington and Portland, Oregon, according to authorities.
Seattle and Portland have been the scene of riots in recent months following the death of George Floyd. In Seattle, an autonomous zone – first dubbed the “Capitol Hill Autonomous Zone” and later renamed the “Capitol Hill Organized Protest” – was set up for weeks in June.
Portland has seen consistent violence from protesters as federal officers try to protect the Mark O. Hatfield United States Courthouse. (RELATED: Media Downplays Ongoing Violence In Portland, Claims ‘Right-Wing’ Outlets Are Playing Up The Unrest)
Seattle Police Department Chief Carmen Best announced Thursday that a recent search warrant found multiple weapons, including an improvised explosive, according to Q13’s Brandi Kruse. The warrant was for an impounded van taken at Saturday’s riot.
Other weapons reportedly found included bear spray, tasers and improvised spike strips, according to Best. The items were reportedly being given to people in the crowd.
Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan: “Peaceful protests are good for our city and good for our country … but in our city it is also a truth that arson, destruction, and violence have occurred and they undermine the push and need and voice for systemic change.” pic.twitter.com/xTtbpKjCNr
— Brandi Kruse (@BrandiKruse) July 30, 2020
Acting Secretary of Homeland Security Chad Wolf also told reporters Wednesday that violent protesters have used IEDs, among other explosives, in Portland. He noted the difference between “attacks by violent criminals, violent opportunists, and violent anarchists” compared to non-violent protesters.
Federal officers plan to remain in Portland to protect the courthouse until the violence stops, Wolf said Wednesday. The courthouse and officers have often faced down bottles, rocks, fires, firecrackers and more from protesters. In return, officers have deployed various crowd control munitions, including tear gas and pepper bullets.