Arrested, but not yet charged. (Click to enlarge.)
Late in the evening on May Day, Christopher saw a man in a hat getting arrested in Cal Anderson Park as his friends were singing "Bohemian Rhapsody."
"For what?" the arrestee yelled.
"Throwing rocks," was the reply.
Then, as I was biking down to Art Walk yesterday evening, I passed the King County Administration Building and saw the man in the hat on the sidewalk.
He'd just finished an interview with a TV reporter. He seemed quite happy.
The man in the hat told me he'd spent the night in jail. ("Boring," he said. "Really boring.") He's 19 years old. He's trained as a machinist. Pinned to his hat, a button for Black Coffee Cooperative.
"I was peacefully protesting," the man in the hat told me. Then he showed me his court paperwork. It says he was arrested for assault and reckless endangerment—though not yet charged—and released on certain conditions. He's to have no contact with the victim, listed as the SPD, "unless emergency." He's to possess no weapons. And he's to show up on Monday for the next step in his legal proceedings.
"They let me free because they didn't have any reason to keep me there," he told me. He also described his return to court on Monday as merely a formality, "to confirm my innocence." He added that he's a little annoyed because "they still have my backpack, which has my laptop and Magic cards in it."
So why does the man in the hat think he got arrested?
"I was on the front line the entire time," he told me. "Apparently an officer witnessed me in a crowd of people throwing items."
I asked: Did you throw anything at the police?
"I did not throw any rocks," he replied. "I'll say that."
What about other things?
"They were throwing stuff at us," he answered.
The man in the hat told me he'd never been to a protest before Wednesday. He joined the May Day march, he said, after a friend told him about a pregnant woman who'd been pushed around by the SPD at a protest rally last year and later miscarried. It sounds like he heard a version of this story—which The Stranger found could not be substantiated.
"That's what I'm here to protest," the man in the hat told me. "I'm completely against police brutality and it's our capitalist society that allows this shit to happen and people to get away with it."