5:04 PM: Mayor Jenny Durkan has just ordered a 5 pm citywide curfew – minutes before 5 pm – because downtown protests have turned destructive and dangerous.
AlertSeattle: The City of Seattle asking all residents to immediately disperse from downtown. The City has imposed an immediate curfew of 5 pm.
— AlertSeattle (@AlertSeattle) May 31, 2020
5:22 PM: Here’s the mayor’s news release:
Mayor Jenny A. Durkan, Police Chief Carmen Best, and Fire Chief Harold Scoggins announced an 5:00 p.m. curfew effective today, May 30 and tomorrow, May 31. Mayor Durkan will soon be signing an emergency order. The curfew will be in effect from 5:00 pm – 5:00 am, and during those hours residents and visitors should remain in their residence to the extent possible and should refrain from traveling in and through Seattle. The curfew is intended to prevent violence and widespread property damage, and to prevent the further community spread of COVID-19 through continued gathering.
“While most of those protests were peaceful, there have been isolated but significant events of violence and destruction. This temporary curfew is intended to preserve the health and safety of our residents by keeping our streets safe and accessible for essential workers and first responders and preventing the further spread of COVID-19,” said Mayor Durkan.
The temporary curfew does not impact people who need to commute to work during these hours, people experiencing homelessness, people in a medical emergency or people in a dangerous situation, first responders, health care workers, and the news media. In addition, the curfew does not require businesses to close while it is in effect, and it will not alter public transit schedules. The Mayor and Chiefs ask all residents and visitors to voluntarily abide by the curfew. The City does not intend to enforce the curfew, except for violations that result in public health and safety threats including fires, extensive property damage, and violence.
Today, the Seattle Police Department, Seattle Fire Department, and Seattle Department of Transportation monitored the demonstrations and stood ready to provide assistance, manage traffic impacts, and preserve health and safety. Staff from Seattle Parks and Recreation and the Seattle Department of Neighborhoods were downtown distributing hundreds of disposable masks to demonstrators.
5:25 PM: From the governor:
Gov. Jay Inslee today activated up to 200 members of the Washington National Guard in response to a request from the City of Seattle to help protect against property damage and manage crowds and traffic during downtown protests. Guard personnel will be unarmed and work under the direction of City of Seattle leadership.
The guard was activated by a letter from the governor to Maj. Gen. Bret Daugherty, commander of the Washington National Guard, as demonstrations were underway in Seattle protesting the death of George Floyd in Minnesota earlier this week.
“The National Guard is on stand by to assist the Seattle Police Department as requested by Mayor Durkan,” Inslee said. “They will be unarmed and assist with infrastructure protection and crowd movement. They will only be utilized if absolutely necessary and we appreciate their efforts to help in this important work.”
5:45 PM: The mayor is speaking with reporters at 6 pm. We’ll be phoning into that and will add notes.
6:10 PM: Still awaiting the mayor. Note that (as discussed in comments) at least a few West Seattle businesses have closed early because of the curfew – please let us know of any others (firstname.lastname@example.org, or text 206-293-6302). We’ll build a list here:
(adding as we hear of others)
6:18 PM: “For most of today, the demonstrators were peaceful,” says the mayor. “Unfortunately, in the late afternoon, (protests) downtown turned destructive and violent.” She draws a clear line between those who protested peacefully earlier, and those who turned violent later. The violent acts do not honor George Floyd, she notes, and won’t be tolerated. “We will take all steps necessary to protect residents and property …” She has issued three emergency orders: A civil emergency and a prohibition on weapons use, as well as the curfew tonight and tomorrow. (You can watch on Seattle Channel.) Both the mayor and fire chief have explained that firefighters were delayed from getting to some of the set fires downtown because it was unsafe.
After a few minutes of mayoral, police, and fire statements, it’s Q&A. First one: The timing of the curfew. The mayor says the 5 pm time was set at SPD’s recommendation “to get people safely home.” The mayor also notes that the statewide stay-home order hasn’t expired yet so people should be staying home anyway. In another response, she again differentiates the peaceful protesters who rallied earlier and those who “hijacked” the demonstration later and caused “such destruction and chaos.” The latter will not be allowed to eclipse “the message of hope, justice, and love,” she insists. She is then asked about earlier videos that appeared to show police using force, and she says that will be reviewed. But she also says force used against officers was not appropriate either.
In closing at 6:38 pm, she reiterates support for those who are grieving, and for their right to protest, but vows to restore order “and hold those people accountable” who caused the “chaos and destruction.” She says they don’t know yet if, like some other cities, those who caused it were from out of town.
8:25 PM: In case you were wondering: We just drove through the West Seattle business districts. Looked like most restaurants that are open for takeout/delivery this time of night were still open. Streets were relatively empty.
12:43 AM: Detailed Metro alert from late Saturday night:
Metro buses are not serving the downtown core area between Denny Way and Edgar Martinez Dr S, due to the events currently taking place in that area in conjunction with the City of Seattle’s curfew.
Metro riders are advised to avoid the downtown area, be aware of conditions in their immediate vicinity that my change quickly, revise travel plans as needed, and most importantly, stay safe.
As of 9:00 PM and until the end of service, including late night routes that operate after 1:00 AM, Metro plans the following, however, changes could occur without notice:
Routes 7 and 49 are staying east of downtown Seattle along Broadway and Boren through the Capitol Hill and First Hill areas.
Routes 10 and 12 are canceled.
Route 36 is turning back at S Jackson Street and will not serve Queen Anne.
Routes heading toward downtown from the north end will turn back or be rerouted at – or near – Denny Way, and will not continue into downtown Seattle. Board these routes northbound at stops north of Denny Way.
Routes heading toward downtown from the south end will turn back or be rerouted at – or near – Edgar Martinez Dr S, and will not continue into downtown Seattle. Board these routes southbound at stops south of Edgar Martinez Dr S.
Most routes (except trolley routes) that normally travel through downtown Seattle to continue as other routes – such as routes 5 and 21 or 24 and 124 – will continue to their destinations at each end, but will travel via non-stop routing that avoids the downtown core area.
Routes 40, 70 and the RapidRide D Line will serve their stops on Sixth Avenue S, but will not serve downtown Seattle south of Denny Way.
Metro Route 41 and Sound Transit Express Route 522 are not traveling south of Northgate Transit Center; riders who need to go south from there can transfer to Route 40 or other service, depending on their destination.
Eastside I-90 routes are terminating at Mercer Island and not continuing to downtown Seattle.
Eastside SR 520 routes are terminating at the South Kirkland P&R, except for Metro Route 255 and ST Route 545, which are continuing to the University District.
Link light rail is operating, but with some station closures and changing conditions; check Sound Transit Link alerts.
Use regularly published timetables, but expect likely significant delays during the operation described above. Predicted departure times in customer information apps will not be accurate.
Metro expects to operate regularly scheduled service at the start of Sunday morning. Watch for updates during the day on Sunday.