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Seven Seattle police officers threaten art gallery with confiscation of display

Seattle police threaten to confiscate a Capitol Hill art installation from a local artist.



John Mitchell created an art installation highlighting Black Lives Matter artwork and scenes of Seattle Police Department brutality at his Capitol Hill studio. The art installation uses projectors, valued at $25,000 each, to display the video clips and still images through windows and on to the Seattle East Precinct station’s ecology block barriers. Police officers complained that the installation was problematic for exiting the garage, and tonight officers confronted Mitchell.

In a video shot on October 31, seven Seattle police officers approached Mitchell, demanding he removes the projector and threatening to confiscate the art installation. In the video shared on Facebook, one of the officers says, “We’re going to give you a warning. If the officers complain some more [sic] about this light blinding you, we’ll write up a report and confiscate it. You’ve been warned [sic] multiple times.

Earlier in the video, the same officer asks, “Have you tried driving a car out of there yet?” The ramp the officer is talking about is gated and has a small, no trespassing sign. One protester and one citizen journalist have been arrested at different times for walking up the ramp, indicating that accessing the ramp would likely be met with force.

This is a breaking story and we will continue to monitor.

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