Seattle police say a van that followed activists over the weekend was loaded up with stun guns, bear spray, homemade spike strips, fireworks and an assortment of other materials anathema to peaceful protests.
Mayor Jenny Durkan discussed the “well-organized” groups on Wednesday with Police Chief Carmen Best, along with other city officials.
“[Bear spray] is causing burns and itching and stinging to [officers’] face and exposed skin. This lasts much longer than the … type of pepper spray that police use and is much stronger. It is not safe for use on humans,” Police Sgt. James Lee said, the Seattle Times reported.
Ms. Best confirmed 59 officers were injured during the weekend protests, which included an explosive blast that left an 8-inch hole in the department’s East Precinct wall.
One witness said that explosives were inside van prior to police ultimately obtaining a search warrant and impounding the vehicle.
“2020 has been a tough year,” the Democratic mayor lamented. “It’s going to continue to be tough. But the way we get through it, the way we come out the other end is if we find a way to say, ‘We do not just come back, but we come back better.’”
Other items found in the van include smoke bombs, pepper spray, and gas masks.