Phoenix Jones and Shade outside the U.S. Courthouse while monitoring the protest Monday night. Photo courtesy of Jimmy Lovaas.
A grand jury decision to not indict Officer Darren Wilson in the fatal shooting of Michael Brown came down at 6:00 PM Pacific time on Monday night. The reaction reverberated throughout the nation with protests happening in several cities including Seattle.
A large group of protesters had already gathered at Westlake when the decision was announced. Though initially starting off peaceful, it grew and got rowdier over the next several hours.
KOMO News reported that some protesters threw can foods and fireworks and one even threw a knife. In return, SPD reacted with pepper spray and percussion grenades. At one point, protesters made it onto I-5 causing a shutdown of the highway and SPD worked with the state patrol to regain the freeway.
As the protests flowed through the streets of Seattle, disrupting traffic and clashing with both SPD and WSP, Phoenix Jones bided his time.
After midnight, Phoenix Jones posted that he was preparing to go out there alongside fellow superhero Shade. Apparently, seeing vandalism committed moved him to action.
Within an hour of posting his intent to patrol, he had some feedback for the public.
Phoenix Jones reported via twitter that it was a peaceful protest, however there were expletives shouted. He also reported there was a shooting. Not sure how a shooting factors into a peaceful protest.
The SPD Blotter reported a slightly different account. The Blotter described individuals within the crowds throwing bottles and rocks at officers. There was property damage and vandalism consisting of spray painting and broken glass. By 1:00 AM on Tuesday morning, 5 people had been arrested.
I have not been able to obtain any corroborating evidence or reports of any shooting that night in Seattle. One man was arrested on weapons charges, but I haven’t found any credible reports on any actual shooting that night.
Phoenix Jones also reported that Ghost was possibly out in plain clothes. Omega was apparently on patrol down in Tacoma.
The protests have continued throughout the week.
On Tuesday, a protest that started with UW students blocked traffic, but was overall fairly peaceful. Friday protests brought a disruption to the downtown Christmas tree-lighting and caused Westlake Center mall to shut down several hours early.
Saturday night brought out yet another protest, so that meant another night of superheroes.
This protest proved to be the most violent and seemingly the least related to the Ferguson decision. An officer was injured when someone threw a rock through the window of the SPD vehicle the officer was driving.
Midnight Jack, Phoenix Jones, and Omega look over at the protesters. Photo courtesy of Omega.
Phoenix Jones along with Omega, Midnight Jack, and Ghost convened along with the protest on Capitol Hill. Omega said they came across intel that anarchists were planning to cause trouble. If any group has become an arch-nemesis to Seattle superheroes, it’s anarchists.
Protesters out on Saturday night. Photo courtesy of Omega.
The superhero quartet gathered at 9:30 PM in an attempt to get ahead of the group that was to meet at 10:00 PM. Omega counted at least 100 protestors, several in various masks and even helmets.
The superheroes trailed beside the protest group, helping with obstacles that some of the protesters disturbed. Occasionally, protesters would throw “junk” at the superheroes, but no rocks or anything the injured them.
Phoenix Jones follows closely behind the protesters. Photo courtesy of Omega.
Omega also handed out hand-warmers to homeless people he encountered during the cold night.
SPD had a decent presence, but Phoenix did not seem pleased with SPD’s response to the unruly protesters.
Towards the end of the night, the protest group broke up in smaller groups and eventually dispersed. By the end of the night, protesters had broken a plate glass window at the Ferrari dealership at 12th and Union. SPD had difficulty finding specific individuals though they did monitor the crowds as best they could.
The superheroes then drove around afterwards, but the cold seem to keep the streets fairly cleared.
It is unclear what if any protests will continue later on.