Executive Constantine issues local Proclamation of Emergency

Monday, June 1, 2020

Protesters block traffic on the freeway, Saturday
Photo by T J Guillory

King county executive Dow Constantine:

People in King County and across the country are demonstrating against racism, hate, and violence against Black people and people of color in the United States. These demonstrations were sparked by the killing in Minnesota of George Floyd, who died with a white police officer's knee pressed to his neck.

King County values and respects the peaceful expression of political views, and supports all people in exercising their First Amendment rights. To assist in responding to the violence and theft associated with some of the local protests, King County Executive Dow Constantine has issued a King County Proclamation of Emergency.

The proclamation allows King County departments flexibility with contracting needs and obligations necessary to make emergency repairs and address other impacts associated with the civil emergency. Most importantly for the residents and businesses served by the county, the proclamation expedites the process of obtaining resources, if needed.

The King County Office of Emergency Management activated the King County Emergency Operations Center on May 30 for a significant civil emergency caused by violence and theft during the time of public demonstrations in various communities of King County, including the cities of Seattle, Bellevue, Renton, and Tukwila. 

Bicycle cops stand by during the peaceful part of the protest Saturday
Photo by T J Guillory

The peaceful demonstrations by many have been accompanied by property damage and destruction by others; they have created hazardous conditions for persons assembled for peaceful protests; pose a risk to public property and facilities; and, further threaten public safety, property destruction, injury, and safe travel.

In related but separate developments, 116 Washington National Guard members have been deployed to help the City of Bellevue this evening. In addition, Gov. Jay Inslee today activated up to 200 more members of the Washington National Guard at King County’s request to help Bellevue and potentially other jurisdictions respond to looting, protect against property damage, and manage crowds and traffic throughout the county if necessary.

Peaceful protestors crowd the entrance ramp Saturday
Photo by T J Guillory

Guard personnel will be unarmed and work under the direction of local leadership. With this request, the Governor has activated 600 or more National Guard personnel to assist in a peacekeeping response in Seattle and King County, according to a news release from the Governor’s office.

King County departments will continue to monitor the situation and respond as needed to ensure public safety. Meanwhile, residents are reminded to abide by curfews issued by the cities, and to maintain social distancing practices to minimize the spread of COVID-19.


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