Seattle police said a search warrant served on a van that was seen near rioting in the city over the weekend revealed that the vehicle contained smoke bombs and other explosives.
Chief Carmen Best told reporters during a news conference on Wednesday that amid that officers observed a van following a group of protesters on Saturday before stopping near the department’s East Precinct. Shortly thereafter, explosions began going off in the area.
Best said police impounded the van and obtained a search warrant. Inside, authorities found firework pyrotechnics, smoke bombs, stun guns, bear and pepper spray, makeshift spike strips, and gas masks.
Best said these findings are “evidence that not everyone who comes to these protests are peaceful. Peaceful protesters do not show up in a van full of … explosives.”
Dozens of officers were injured during rioting that broke out during protests in the city over the weekend.
Mayor Jenny Durkan has pledged support for “peaceful protesters,” but on Wednesday, she condemned violence from people who are “well-organized with this kind of destructive power.”
President Trump has criticized Durkan for not doing more to quell civil unrest in the city, threatening to deploy federal forces to the area to get the situation under control.
Author: Dominick Mastrangelo
Source: Washington Examiner: Not ‘peaceful protesters’: Seattle police find van full of explosives and other weapons