Protest over deadly police shooting blocks downtown Seattle streets
SEATTLE - A protest against the deadly police shooting of a Seattle man spilled over into downtown streets Thursday, disrupting traffic at mid-day.
About 40 protesters gathered across the street from Seattle police headquarters to show their anger over Sunday's shooting death of Che Taylor, 46, in Seattle's Wedgwood neighborhood.
The demonstrators then marched down city streets to Westlake Park as police diverted traffic away from the scene.
Protesters say there was no need for police to open fire at Taylor as officers were conducting surveillance in the neighborhood and spotted what appeared to be illegal drug activity.
Dashcam video of the shooting incident released earlier shows officers firing seven or eight shots at Taylor as he was standing outside a car.
According to officers and a civilian witness, Taylor reached for his handgun when police told him to show his hands and get down, leading officers to open fire. Police say they later recovered Taylor's firearm. They also say he was in possession of roughly six ounces of crack cocaine and black tar heroin.
But Gerald Hankerson, president of the King County NAACP, called the shooting "cold-blooded murder."
"After looking at the video and seeing all the facts, the Seattle-King County NAACP declared this as actually an execution by the Seattle Police Department of a man without even giving him due process or the ability to be seen by a jury of his peers," Hankerson said Tuesday.
Hankerson said he believes Taylor was complying with police commands when the officers opened fire.
Protesters on Thursday agreed with Hankerson. They displayed signs that said "Stop Killing Black People" and "Seattle should house the homeless ... NOT shoot them."