City of Seattle installs concrete barriers to protect police precinct from rioters
Raw video: City installs concrete barriers outside the East Precinct in the hopes they will protect the building from rioters.
Massive concrete barriers were being put in place around the Seattle Police Department’s East Precinct Monday, following a protest last week in which rioters allegedly tried to set the building on fire and trap employees inside.
The 12-foot-high barrier extends around the building, and the entrance has been replaced by a chain-link fence. Visitors wanting to file a police report in person, speak with an officer, or use the facility’s community rooms can no longer access the building. Most police reports are now filled out online or done over the phone.
A new wall outside of the Seattle Police Departments East Precinct is seen on August 30, 2020 in Seattle, Washington.
(David Ryder/Getty Images)
Police Capt. Eric Sano has decried the massive barriers for further alienating law enforcement from the local community.
“You can see it goes all the way around the precinct,” Sano told KOMO 4 TV. “We don’t have a front entrance anymore.”
Sano, who is marking his fourth week as the East Precinct’s commander, said the barrier was not what he envisioned for mending community relations but acknowledged that it was necessary after last week’s riots.
"This is not the way it's supposed to be," he said. "This is a precinct for the people (and) a police precinct where the pope should be able to come and talk to me."
A 19-year-old Alaska man, Desmond David-Pitts, is facing federal charges in connection with attempted arson, authorities said. After David-Pitts allegedly tried to set the building on fire, other rioters used quick-drying cement to try to seal the doors with workers inside.
The East Precinct is the same location that sparked protests in the city's Capitol Hill neighborhood that eventually led to the controversial Capitol Hill Organized Protest (CHOP). The area was cleared out and officers returned to the abandoned East Precinct building last month following two fatal shootings.
Fox News’ Brie Stimson contributed to this report.
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