WSP statement on call for protesters to block freeway system - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

WSP statement on call for protesters to block freeway system

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KING COUNTY, WA - The following is in response to inquiries to the Washington State Patrol (WSP) about calls for protesters to block the freeway system on May Day:

“The Washington State Patrol respects the rights of citizens to engage in civil protests and other acts of civil disobedience. However, any actions taken by an unauthorized person or persons to shut down a federal interstate highway system would be dangerous and irresponsible behavior that could cause serious and/or fatal injuries to involved protesters and unassuming highway users.” said Captain Ron Mead, District 2 Commander which encompasses all of King County. Captain Mead went on to say, “We will seek prosecutor assistance to hold anyone illegally involved in such behavior accountable for their criminal actions.”

Captain Mead also stated, “The freeways are no place for protests, and calls for protesters to block the freeway system is simply reckless and irresponsible. The WSP and our partner WSDOT go to great lengths to keep the freeway system flowing. This is not about politics, this is about public safety. To that end, we will continue to work with our law enforcement partners to safeguard the rights of peaceful protesters, but will not tolerate any interference with blocking the freeway system. The WSP will be fully prepared to address any such attempts to block the freeway system and will arrest those that attempt to do just that.”

The Washington State Patrol would like to remind our citizens of the collision on I-5 in Bellingham on February 11th, 2017. Protesters blocked the freeway which in turn created traffic conditions that contributed to a serious injury collision in the back up. Protest safely and within the confines of the law.