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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 
immediately.

"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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