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Cops declare Seattle protest a riot as youth detention center goes up in flames

A Black Lives Matter protester has been shot dead during a march in Austin as a youth detention center and police precinct have been torched in Seattle and demonstrators gather again in Portland amid stand-offs with Donald Trump’s federal agents. 

One protester was shot and killed when gunshots were fired during a protest in downtown Austin, Texas, Saturday night. 

Shocking footage showed people marching along the street holding banners demanding an end to police brutality and racism when loud shots rung out.   

This comes as protests gathered steam across several US cities Saturday, two months on from the Memorial Day ‘murder’ of George Floyd and in a show of solidarity for Portland where demonstrators and federal agents have clashed ever since Trump sent the troops in.    

The president has so far deployed federal agents to Portland, Seattle and Chicago, offsetting a spike in violent clashes between law enforcement and protesters.

The streets of Seattle turned violent Saturday when protesters set fire to a youth detention center and a police precinct, leading cops to declare protests had turned into ‘riots’ that afternoon.  

Portland geared up for its 59th night of unrest Saturday with swathes of demonstrators marching from the federal building to the Portland Marriott where they believe federal officers are staying, in the wake of a violent night Friday that ended with at least one person stabbed.

Meanwhile, tensions mounted in Chicago, with protests taking place all across the Windy City Saturday including a Back the Blue rally in support of cops, while residents brace for the force of the feds. 

Cities that have so far avoided the wrath of the feds also ramped up protests Saturday night with police cruisers being damaged in New York and Los Angeles police issuing a citywide tactical alert to get more cops on standby for escalating unrest. 

Austin police confirmed that an adult male was shot and killed near an intersection in the city’s downtown around 9:52 p.m. during the protest Saturday night. 

Social media footage shows demonstrators marching through the streets shouting ‘black lives’ and waving banners reading ‘BLM’ before several shots are fired. 

Screams are heard and the video loses focus as protesters run for cover from the scene. 

Senior Police Officer Katerina Ratcliff said in a late night press conference that cops were on the scene monitoring the protest when shots rung out in the area. 

Initial reports indicate the victim was carrying a rifle and approached the suspect’s vehicle, who then opened fire fatally shooting the man.     

Medics on the scene performed CPR on the man and he was taken to hospital in a critical condition, where he was pronounced dead soon after. 

Austin police said the suspect had been detained and that no other injuries were reported. 

In Seattle, violence flared long before nightfall when people went on a rampage, torching buildings in the city, while a Wall of Moms and Vets took to the streets vowing to protect demonstrators from law enforcement. 

Around 2,000 people descended on the city as protests that had tempered following the dismantling of the CHOP zone earlier this month inflamed once more, after Trump said he was sending in federal troops as part of his sweeping law and order takeover in cities across the nation.   

Seattle police declared the protest in Seattle a ‘riot’ just before 4:30 p.m. local time Saturday afternoon as people vandalized the East Police Precinct, set a small fire and an explosive was let off inside the building.

Surveillance cameras were damaged in the onslaught, while some demonstrators tried to tear down a fence protecting the precinct. 

‘Individuals spray painting on East Precinct at 12th and Pine and attempting to disable cameras and damage fence perimeter around building,’ Seattle Police Department tweeted. 

‘Due to the ongoing damage and public safety risks associated with this incident, SPD is declaring it a riot.’ 

The construction site of the new King County Juvenile Detention Facility was also engulfed in flames after a group marched on the building demanding it be closed before setting fire to the area. 

Firefighters fought to tackle the raging flames billowing out of the construction area at 12th Avenue and Jefferson Street.   

I have shifted up to Seattle today to follow a large demonstration that’s in solidarity with Portland.

I’d estimate a crowd of 2,000 already. They just torched construction buildings at the site of a new youth detention center.

Meanwhile, feds are here

Law enforcement hit back at the crowds using flashbangs to get people to disperse, hours after a federal judge temporarily blocked a new law banning cops from using pepper spray and other crowd control tools. 

Protesters were tear-gassed and thrown to the ground as tensions escalated and a wall of cops pushed them back along the streets. 

At least 25 people have been arrested and three cops were injured, including one who was rushed to hospital after an explosive went off on his leg. 

There was no sign of Trump’s troops despite the repeated threats from the president that federal agents would restore law and order in Democrat-led cities. 

A so-called ‘Wall of Moms’ joined the protests – in solidarity with the similar ‘walls’ that have sprung up in Portland over the last week. 

Mothers in Portland have come out in force every night since Saturday sporting their signature yellow t-shirts and bike helmets and forming human barricades to protect Black Lives Matter protesters from federal agents sent into the city. 

They were joined Friday night by a new ‘Wall of Vets’ who said they decided to take action after shocking footage emerged showing federal agents tear gassing and beating Navy veteran Christopher David, 53, last weekend.

The Seattle group of women sported yellow bands reading ‘Mom’ as they marched toward the area by the detention center Saturday afternoon, while veteran protesters held up signs reading #WallofVets. 

The group wrote on Twitter that they were attacked by Seattle cops and ‘unmarked federal contractors’ in broad daylight while protesting peacefully. 

‘We marched peacefully until SPD & unmarked Federal Contractors tear gassed a bunch of moms, allies and Youth today,’ the Wall of Moms Seattle group wrote.

‘In broad daylight. With no provocation from peaceful media, or marchers. All Moms (and allies) know we can do better than this.’

Shocking footage on Twitter showed peaceful protesters marching through the streets as explosions rang out behind them.

Several people broke out into a run before protesters appeared to realize it was cops following them with gas canisters. 

Much of the group had dispersed by early evening with a smaller crowd of protesters and law enforcement facing off against each other near the police precinct soon after 7 p.m. before tensions bubbled over again.  

Protests demanding an end to police brutality and racism have taken place in Seattle for two months now, ever since the Memorial Day ‘murder’ of black man George Floyd at the hands of a white cop.  

Tensions in the city had simmered down following the removal of the CHOP zone in early July, but crowds have amassed once more to protest against the move from the Trump administration to send in federal troops. 

Residents and local officials including Washington Governor Jay Inslee and Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan and Police Chief Carmen Best have voiced concerns that the city will head the way of Portland where feds have been accused of bundling protesters off in unmarked vehicles and violent clashes have erupted across the city.  

Agents were sent in to Seattle Thursday evening on standby to help other federal law enforcement officials protect federal facilities in the city, according to two law enforcement officials with knowledge of the plans. 

They were drafted in after businesses were vandalized in the downtown area and in the nearby Capitol Hill neighborhood, they said.  

But Durkan blasted Acting Secretary of Homeland Security Chad Wolf Friday saying he misled her, having assured her the government had no plans to send federal agents to Seattle.

‘I don’t want to say I was lied to, but I think there was maybe semantics that weren’t forthcoming,’ Durkan said Friday. 

‘I cannot overstate it enough, what is happening is frightening to me,’ Durkan said. ‘It is frightening that you would use federal agents for political purposes.’

A federal judge dealt another blow to the city earlier Saturday ruling that cops can use pepper spray and other crowd control tools on protesters in the city. 

Last month, the Seattle City Council unanimously passed a bill – sponsored by far-left councilwoman Kshama Sawant – banning cops from deploying ‘kinetic impact projectiles, chemical irritants, acoustic weapons, directed energy weapons, water cannons, disorientation devices, and ultrasonic cannons’. 

The law, which was set to go into effect on Sunday, sparked outrage among officers, who claimed they would be unable to protect both peaceful protesters and property if demonstrations turned violent.   

On Friday, Police Chief Carmen Best slammed the City Council for their new law, writing: ‘As City Council’s legislation goes into effect, it will create even more dangerous circumstances for our officers to intervene using what they have left – riot shields and riot batons.’ 

US District Judge James Robart granted a request from the federal government to block the new law Saturday afternoon, clearing the way for the deployment of crowd control tactics on tonight’s protests. 

Federal troops have been drafted in to Portland, Chicago, Seattle and Albuquerque so far as part of the president’s controversial crackdown, with Trump warning Friday he could send agents into New York as well.   

Tensions continued to boil over in Portland Friday night as a new ‘Wall of Vets’ joined the Wall of Moms and Wall of Dads to ‘protect’ Black Lives Matter protesters from the federal agents in what marked the 58th night of unrest in the city.

Police said one person was stabbed in downtown Portland early Saturday morning and a suspect was taken into custody, as scenes turned ugly overnight.

About 4,000 protesters gathered at the federal courthouse and Justice Center chanting ‘feds go home’ and ‘black lives matter’. 

Chaos later erupted when demonstrators set off fireworks and federal agents hurled tear gas into the crowds. 

The ‘Wall of Vets’ group appeared at the demonstration for the first time, alongside the yellow-clad ‘Wall of Moms’ who have gathered every night this week. 

The Vets said they decided to take action after shocking footage emerged showing federal agents tear gassing and beating Navy veteran Christopher David, 53, last weekend. 

On Saturday, work crews were seen welding fencing around the federal courthouse which has been the focal point of unrest between agents and protesters this week. 

Protests ramped up in Chicago again Saturday as the Windy City braces for an influx of federal agents on the streets. 

During the day, several protests took place at Grant Park, where just days earlier the controversial statue of Christopher Columbus was taken down under the cover of darkness. 

Black Lives Matter protesters gathered, as did a ‘Back the Blue’ rally in support of law enforcement who chanted ‘we love CPD’. 

As night fell, hundreds of Black Lives Matter protesters continued to march peacefully southbound through the city.  

Meanwhile, three people were shot in Louisville Saturday as a black militia group carrying semiautomatic weapons and a far-right organization carrying heavy firearms came face-to-face during demonstrations. 

An argument erupted between Black Lives Matter supporters and members of the far-right Three Percenters militia on the corner of Fifth and Jefferson Streets in Louisville on Saturday shortly after 1pm local time, according to local reports.

A shooting then took place a few blocks away in Baxter Park, where an estimated 200 armed members of the Atlanta-based ‘Not F*****g Around Coaltion’ gathered before marching toward the main protest site in downtown.  

The Louisville Metro Police Department later confirmed that the shooting was a result of a firearm that accidentally discharged. 

The three wounded victims were rushed to a local hospital with non-life threatening injuries.   

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