Seattle police broke up what attendees called an “antifa football” game and arrested seven people Sunday at Cal Anderson Park, where the city recently cleared out a homeless encampment.
One person required paramedics during the confrontation between police and the group, as seen in photos of Matt Mitgang, who was walking through the neighborhood during the incident. The 26-year-old, who had a medical condition, was taken to Harborview Medical Center in stable condition, fire department spokesman David Cuerpo said.
Video from the scene shows several officers walking towards the football game and the argument, which took place around 4:30 p.m. “You all achieve the double standard here, don’t you?” a participant tells police who arrived to remove the group dressed in black, according to Instagram footage. Members of the group said other people were playing in the park without being chased away by the police.
A man spat at an officer and was arrested, police detective Patrick Michaud said. Then six people “attempted to de-arrest this individual,” he wrote in an online update. A large group surrounded the officers and more police were called in, Michaud said.
In an Instagram live video before any arrests, two police cars could be seen idling down the street in Cal Anderson Park driving away. The video shows a handful of people dressed in black, or “black block”, playing around a soccer ball on the pitch, while two others hang a sign reading “Housing is the cure” on a nearby fence.
One individual started recording and yelled at the police cars that they were ‘profiling’ as they only showed up at the park when the ‘black bloc’ people started playing.
“Why is it that when the black bloc came out to play football, you all started stopping. You’re profiling,” he said. hobbies told us [the park] might not even be closed.
When the cars left, the person returned to the football field.
The police department’s Force Investigation Team will investigate what led to the person being taken to hospital, according to the police update. Seven people were taken from the park to the King County Jail.
Sunday’s confrontation followed a Friday park cleanup in which police ordered people living in the park to leave, while city workers removed fencing and debris. Police say they have arrested 24 peopleincluding protesters.
The park, on Seattle’s Capitol Hill, has been the site of a homeless encampment and a hub for protest activity from the former Capitol Hill Organized Protest Zone that protesters formed after the police murder of George Floyd in Minneapolis this spring. Protesters called for racial justice and defunding the police department. A nearby police station remains surrounded by concrete blocks following arson attempts this summer.
While neighborhood residents use the park — people can be seen walking a dog in the same video during the football game — Michaud said the park remains technically closed and officers should enter the park and tell people inside to leave.