April 18, 2024 2:06 pm

The premier news source for Snohomish County

WSP seeking prosecution of seven additional suspects in I-5 shutdown

OLYMPIA—The Washington State Patrol (WSP) has referred charges for seven additional individuals (3 Males and 4 Females) who played roles in the protest and purposeful blocking of I-5 in downtown Seattle on the afternoon of January 6, 2024, leading to the freeway shutdown. This brings the total number of individuals with referred charges so far to twelve.

The charges vary by individual, but include 2nd Degree Criminal Trespass, Failure to Disperse, Disorderly Conduct, and Obstruction. As with the first set of referred charges announced last week, all have been referred to the King Couty Prosecutor’s Office, led by Leesa Manion, who will make the final determination on what can be filed based on the evidence.

WSP reiterates that while we fully support and regularly protect the public’s rights to gather and protest, the freeway is not the place to do so. Simply put – it is illegal and extremely dangerous. It cannot and will not be tolerated.

Background of I-5 Takeover and Shutdown by Pro-Palestine Protestors

On Saturday, January 6, 2024, beginning shortly after 1:00 p.m., all north-bound lanes of I-5 freeway were closed in downtown Seattle for approximately five hours after protestors illegally blocked the safe flow of traffic by the stopping and abandoning of 12 vehicles.

In a coordinated effort, a large group of protestors cut through a WSDOT safety fence and began to occupy the freeway road surface. They refused to leave the area and subsequently eight individuals bound themselves together in a manner designed to further delay attempts at safe evacuation.

As WSP gathered the equipment and personnel resources necessary to safely and effectively process a large crowd that was using choreographed tactics of delay, a squall of threatening weather dispersed the crowd before any on-site arrests commenced. After the protestors left the freeway, the abandoned vehicles had to be searched, using bomb-sniffing dogs, before being towed away.

WSP’s investigation of additional suspects continues and has included the review of over 40 hours of on-site video and social media posts, plus additional video received from concerned citizens, as well numerous news broadcasts and photographs.

The extreme level of danger this sort of activity creates for all involved, added to the impact to local, state, and federal commerce caused by freeway closure, as well as the dangerous diversion of law enforcement resources from other emergency response duties, warrant continuing investigative efforts.

I-5 Protest and Shutdown – Additional Persons of Interest Gallery

The investigation continues and now contains photos of additional individuals believed to have played a role in the dangerous I-5 freeway takeover in January 6, 2024.  Anyone with information on their identities or whereabouts or who might have additional video or photographs that could assist in the investigation is asked to contact WSP at sistips@wsp.wa.gov  or Sergeant Chase Van Cleave at (425) 240-4161. 

i-5 shutdown
i-5 shutdown
i-5 shutdown
i-5 shutdown

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