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Antifa Faces Off With Police Supporters Outside Police Appreciation Dinner

Bellevue, WA – An antifa mob torched U.S. flags and chanted “death to America” in response to a statewide law enforcement appreciation dinner hosted by the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association (BGEA) on Tuesday night.

The BGEA invited all law enforcement agencies throughout Washington to attend the event at the Hyatt Regency Hotel in Bellevue after the Seattle Police Department (SPD) backed out of the initial plan the BGEA had to solely honor Seattle police, The Post Millennial reported.

SPD turned BGEA away after the Seattle City Council blasted the agency for planning to attend an event hosted by a group that they allege hold “anti-LGBTQ” views, according to the news outlet.

“By promoting the anti-LGBTQ and far-right religious group’s invitation, the Seattle Police Department is undermining Seattle’s LGBTQ community, alienating our own LGBTQ officers, and further eroding public trust and confidence in law enforcement to protect everyone regardless of their religion or identity,” Seattle City Council President Lorena Gonzalez declared in a tweet on April 16.

SPD Chief Adrian Diaz backed out of the police appreciation dinner the same day, resulting in BGEA extending the statewide invitation instead, The Post Millennial reported.

Antifa and other groups organized demonstrations in protest of the police appreciation dinner, prompting the Bellevue Police Department (BPD) to develop a preemptive plan to keep the anti-police gatherings from turning violent.

“ALERT: We’ve learned of a planned protest in Downtown Park on Tuesday, May 11th at 7:00 pm,” BPD said in a series of tweets on May 9 “Currently, we’re unsure how large or if they plan to remain peaceful. There’s a strong possibility the group may leave the park…BPD is committed to protecting the rights of peaceful protesters while ensuring a safe event for all.”

The anti-police groups converged at the Downtown Bellevue Park at 7 p.m. as scheduled, The Post Millennial reported.

Meanwhile, a group of law enforcement supporters gathered outside the hotel as a display of solidarity with the officers and their families.

Earlier in the night, one of the SPD officers was allegedly assaulted by a protester, resulting in an arrest, according to The Post Millennial.

Armed with umbrellas, the anti-police protesters took off marching into oncoming traffic at approximately 8 p.m. and headed towards the hotel with SPD and BPD bicycle officers following close behind them, The Post Millennial reported.

The anti-police mob tried to confront the law enforcement supporters outside the hotel, but police succeeded in keeping them apart.

While the pro-police group chanted “USA,” the antifa group set U.S. flags on fire and called for “death to America,” video clips showed.

The anti-police mob also chanted about burning police precincts to the ground.

“Kill a cop! Save a life!” the antifa group yelled. “I can’t wait until black people lynch white people!”

Police tried to withdraw from the area at one point, but the antifa mob immediately began advancing on the pro-police group without their intervention, The Post Millennial reported.

Officers ultimately came back and asked the law enforcement supporters if they would be willing to disperse from the area in order to get the antifa group to go away, according to the news outlet.

Written by
Holly Matkin

Holly is a former probation and parole officer who is married to a sheriff’s deputy. She is a regular contributor to Signature Montana magazine, and has written feature articles for Distinctly Montana magazine.

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Written by Holly Matkin

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