Protesters in Seattle set fire to the construction site for a county juvenile detention facility on Saturday, with fears that demonstrators marching in solidarity with those protesting in Portland, Oregon, may clash with authorities as night falls.
U.S. President Donald Trump said on Thursday that he expanded the deployment of federal police to Seattle, enraging local officials.
Seattle Police said on Twitter they were working to secure access to the fire for the city’s fire department at the King County facility. Police said that about a dozen people who were part of a large group of demonstrators had set the fires.
The protests in Seattle were being carried out in part to show solidarity with demonstrations in Portland, where anti-racism protests have been running for nearly 60 straight days.
The heavy handed tactics of federal officers in Portland has drawn the ire of local leaders and Democrats in Congress, who say those officers are using excessive force and complain of overreach by the Trump administration.
U.S. Attorney for the Western District of Washington Brian Moran said in a statement on Friday that federal agents are stationed in Seattle to protect federal properties and the work done in those buildings.
The Trump administration has also sent federal police to Chicago, Kansas City and Albuquerque over the objections of those mayors.