The Washington State Patrol has stated that it will be recommending charges against 6 of the anti-Israel protesters who blockaded a freeway last month, trapping hundreds of motorists and at least 2 ambulances for almost 6 hours.
WSP told The Ari Hoffman Show on Talk Radio 570 KVI in a statement, “our detectives have reviewed hundreds of hours of social media/video footage and are preparing the documentation for charging 6 individuals with another 10 still being investigated.”
A full report is expected later this week.
WSP is not releasing the identities of the activists yet or the roles they played in the blockade.
Since the blockade, activists, including some who are public school teachers, have bragged about their success.
The agency noted that the King County Prosecutor has “ultimate charging authority and will review the evidence developed by our detectives.”
“As we have noted earlier, the most likely charge in situations like this would be disorderly conduct, which is a misdemeanor. That could be an unsatisfying resolution to those seeking more serious charges given the significant disruption caused. But we must consider (and should only consider) all applicable laws.”
WSP Director of Communications Chris Loftis told Hoffman, “Our message stays the same – Our interstates are designed for one thing and one thing only – the safe and efficient transportation of people, goods, and services at freeway speed. Anyone who attempts to use them for their own and other purposes are placing themselves, the traveling public, emergency responders, and our commerce and recreational systems in peril. It is far more than an inconvenience. It is a misguided, selfish, and dangerous threat to public safety.”
“WSP will not tolerate it and will always respond in the manner that most safely and most quickly resolves the situation and reduces the danger to the public, to emergency responders, and to protestors alike.”
Government officials and law enforcement in Washington have faced tremendous backlash for not arresting any of the pro-Palestinian activists who blocked the I-5 freeway in downtown Seattle for 6 hours.
During the George Floyd riots in Seattle in 2020, WSP was ordered to allow BLM and Antifa activists to block the freeway during the deadly occupation of the city’s Capitol Hill neighborhood.
Rather than preventing the activists from blocking the freeway, WSP closed the freeway at set times each night for the protests, despite the danger and traffic delays.
Dawit Kelete was sentenced to 6 and a half years in prison after he broke one of the state patrol’s blockades and drove onto the closed freeway, fatally striking activist Summer Taylor, 24, and seriously injuring Diaz Love, 32, both of whom identified as non-binary.
Hours after the fatal collision, WSP discontinued the closures, but Taylor's and Love’s families, as well as other activists, sued Seattle, Washington State, and law enforcement for failing to protect the activists who were shutting down the freeway.
Over 50 activists including Taylor's family recently settled with the city of Seattle for $10 million.