Washington State Patrol has apologized after an officer was captured on video on June 2 telling his colleagues, “Don’t kill them, but hit them hard,” during protests in Seattle over the death of George Floyd and wider police violence in the country.
In a statement to local media, the WSP said it was “aware of the video and apologizes for the poor choice of words by one of our team leaders preparing his troopers for a possibly confrontational situation.”
The Seattle Times reported that WSP spokesman Chris Loftis said the officers “were getting ready to conduct a ‘push technique’ designed to actively force ‘aggressive, non-compliant, and threatening protesters away from a designated area.’”
In the video, shot on East Pine Street, the officer, wearing full riot gear, is seen walking past his colleagues, repeatedly telling them, “Don’t kill them.”
Krystal Marx, the woman who captured the footage, said the incident left her “shaking.”
Protests in Seattle continued for a fifth day on June 2, with demonstrators throwing bottles at police officers shortly before midnight, according to local news. Police responded by firing tear gas, KOMO News reported. Credit: Krystal Marx/@Bishop_Krystal via Storyful