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Photo essay: The SPD sweep of Cal Anderson Park

Jordan Somers The Seattle Police Department initiated their sweep at approximately 8:00 AM, utilizing large groups of officers to sweep the encampments and remove protestors from the park.
Jordan Somers A bike officer with his bicycle unit shouting at protestors to leave Cal Anderson Park
Jordan Somers Police officers tear down a portion of the makeshift barricade that served as a thin line of protection for the houseless community residing in the park
Jordan Somers A police officer stands guard and awaits orders near the park playground at the onset of the sweep
Jordan Somers A group of police officers take moments to regroup after sweeping a portion of the west side of the park
Jordan Somers Police officers regroup in the central area of Cal Anderson Park, directing their attention toward protestors who refuse to leave the park
Jordan Somers Police officers stand next to one of the many temporary homes that has been vacated during the sweep
Jordan Somers A police officer stands in front of and patrols a playground-turned-shelter
Jordan Somers A resident of the houseless community stands his ground and shouts at the officers who are in the process of indefinitely removing everyone from the park
Jordan Somers A protestor waves a small sign toward police officers that reads “Housing 1st” on the opposite end and “No Sweeps” on the other
Jordan Somers A police officer stands guard at a portion of the barricade that has recently been taken over by SPD
Jordan Somers All resources and existing fixtures in the park were utilized to prepare a barricade for the impending SPD sweep
Jordan Somers A police officer threatens a protestor with a rubber bullet gun after the protestor refused to leave the park
Jordan Somers A police officer points his rubber bullet gun at a group of protestors who refuse to disperse the area per SPD orders
Jordan Somers A protestor is tackled to the ground and arrested for standing his ground against SPD orders to leave the park
Jordan Somers A protestor lay motionless after police officers restrained and arrested a protestor for not complying with SPD order to vacate the park
Jordan Somers Protestors were eventually purchased to the west side of the park as the police officers attempted to maintain complete control of the area
Jordan Somers A police officer stands guard on the east side of the park
Jordan Somers Protestors raise their hands as a peaceful gesture as police officers began forceful marches to clear all of 11th avenue, which borders Cal Anderson park on the west end
Jordan Somers Police officers brandish their batons as they push the protestors back toward 11th Avenue and Denny street
Jordan Somers Media and protestors alike were removed by force from SPD marches
Jordan Somers A distraught resident of the houseless community is forced to pick up her tent and relocate to an unknown location
Jordan Somers Police officers used their batons to push and strike any protestors who were not retreating back in accordance with the SPD march on 11th Avenue
Jordan Somers A police officer stands fully equipped with an arsenal of weapons, and an American flag patch sits bright and prominent on his left arm
Jordan Somers A protestor sizes up a police line formed at 11th and Denny to prohibit protestors from entering the adjacent park streets
Jordan Somers A police officer patrols the fountain area of Cal Anderson Park after SPD’s successful sweep
Jordan Somers Pallets, wood and used furniture pose as a barricade against the SPD on the east end of the park
Jordan Somers A large stretch of the east edge of the park lay lined with pallets and wood to protect the houseless community just inside the barricade
Jordan Somers Seattle Parks and Recreation crew begin to dismantle and remove all barricades in Cal Anderson park after SPD had cleared the area
Jordan Somers A police helicopter circles the park during the entirety of the sweep, which spanned for several hours
Jordan Somers SPD also summoned the use of several SWAT units that were parked on neighboring streets to Cal Anderson Park
Jordan Somers A row of police vehicles blocks the entirety of Howell street as Parks and Recreation workers clear the barricade on the west end of the park
Jordan Somers A protestor stands handcuffed and in the custody of a police officer atop the Cal Anderson steps on the west side of the park
Jordan Somers A police officer uses a large role of caution tape to wrap around all edges of Cal Anderson Park
Jordan Somers Protestors from all walks of life showed their support for the houseless community and condemnation for the police sweep
Jordan Somers Police officers led an abrupt raid on bicycles to target protestors who hadn’t completely vacated the northwest corner of the park.  The result ended in numerous forceful arrests
Jordan Somers A protestor lay on the ground after being tackled to the ground and subdued by police officers for allegedly not being outside of the vacated police zone
Jordan Somers Two protestors stand stunned after having been tackled to the ground and arrested.  The protestor on the left shouts a phone number for someone to relay the news to her family
Jordan Somers A reported 26 total arrests were made during the SPD-led sweep
Jordan Somers A protestor, recently arrested, being taken to a police detainment vehicle
Jordan Somers Police officers appear to have fun posing for the camera
Jordan Somers The presence of city crews was immediate after the park was cleared; garbage trucks, bulldozers, and dump trucks were all utilized for the barricade and houseless community tear-down and clean-up
Jordan Somers Police officers stand guard in the park and walk in this direction while shouting orders to leave the area
Jordan Somers A protestor expresses their grievances to SPD officers as they bar entry to this quadrant of the park
Jordan Somers

Jordan Somers is currently in his second year of Visual Media at Seattle Central College. He specializes in photojournalism and documentary work, with a particular emphasis on social movements happening throughout the city. His 2020 documentary, Hope is Not Cancelled, was an official selection at the Local Sightings Film Festival, and won an award for best editing at the Oregon Documentary Film Festival. Jordan is an avid traveler when granted the opportunity, and has a keen interest in psychology and existential philosophy.

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