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"Port of Seattle Police to review procedures after airport protests"
Monday, January 30, 2017
Port of Seattle Police to review procedures after airport protests
The Port of Seattle is reviewing its response following the massive turnout at
SeaTac Airport over the weekend.
By Glenn Farley
KING-TV Ch 5 (NBC), Seattle (WA)
SEATTLE - Saturday night turned many of the world's airports into large protest
forums following an executive order issued by President Donald Trump
temporarily blocking refugees and some others from seven majority Muslim
countries from entering the United States.
Sea-Tac Airport, part of the Port of Seattle, was no different. Over the course
of the day and into the early hours of Sunday morning, the situation went from
peaceful to pepper-spray.
"We feel like we did a good job, but we have lessons learned, and we're looking
at that right now," said Port of Seattle Director of Security Wendy Reiter.
Port Police are part of a mutual aid agreement of about 10 jurisdictions. Other
departments include Kent, Federal Way, and Seattle.
Some protesters formed human chains trying to keep passengers and crews from
getting to their flights. Then police started moving in, eventually using bikes
to push the crowd out of the terminal. Some officers used pepper spray in at
attempt to control the crowd.
The airport protests have already led to changes at the region's two largest
transit agencies, Sound Transit and King County Metro.
At 6:30 p.m. that night, with more protesters heading to the airport, Port of
Seattle Police asked Sound Transit to stop dropping off protestors at the
airport 's light rail station. The agency says three southbound and three
northbound trains kept going. Trains began serving the airport again 33
minutes later, and now the transit agencies chief executives will be alerted
"We can't have transit used as a tool to suppress participation," Sound Transit
CEO Peter Rogoff said. "I'm not saying that's what the Port of Seattle did, but
that's one reason why we restarted service right away, because we did not see a
threat to safety or security."
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