Washington State Patrol

On Saturday night, a group of protesters briefly marched on southbound Interstate 5 near downtown Seattle, and the Washington State Patrol closed the freeway in both directions between Highway 520 and I-90.

It was the latest freeway closure this week to be prompted by protesters, according to the Washington State Department of Transportation. In a Saturday statement, Washington State Patrol Chief John R. Batiste said there is no effective way to prevent marchers from entering the freeway, so closing it is the best option for avoiding injuries to state personnel, troopers, protesters and motorists.

"Due to the extreme volatility of the current environment, the impact of the pandemic on our court and jail systems, and our iron-clad commitment to use force only when it is necessary, reasonable, and proportionate to the situation, we are limited in our safe and appropriate response options," Batiste said.

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