Seattle police are searching for a suspect accused of striking an officer in the head with a baseball bat during riots Wednesday night sparked by the death of Breonna Taylor.
Shocking video on social media shows an officer on a bicycle falling to the ground as black-clad protesters cheer. In the video, as the officer tries to get up, a demonstrator pelts him with an orange traffic cone and another grabs his bike. As the officer is trying to wrestle his bike away from the protester, another man in a gas mask runs up behind him and cracks him in the back of the head with a baseball bat, the video shows.
The Seattle Police Department said in a press release that the blow cracked the officer’s helmet. The department shared several screenshots from the video and asked anyone who can identify the suspect to call their tip line at 206-233-5000.
Multiple officers were injured during the violent protest that formed outside the department’s East Precinct, where a protester threw an explosive that exploded near bike officers, police said.
“A few minutes later additional people cut wires powering the security cameras to the precinct,” police said in the press release. “Officers identified the individual who threw the explosive and attempted to arrest the person. As a group [of] bike officers attempted to make the arrest they were then assaulted with bottles and rocks. Police deployed pepper spray and blast balls in an attempt to create space between the officers and the protestors.”
Police said 13 people were arrested for charges ranging from property destruction, resisting arrest and failure to disperse as well as assault on an officer.
Violent protests broke out in cities across the country Wednesday night after a grand jury in Kentucky decided not to indict police officers for the fatal shooting of Breonna Taylor.