Police said the move Wednesday was designed to protect the public.
“Since demonstrations at the East Precinct area began on June 8th, two teenagers have been killed and three people have been seriously wounded in late-night shootings,” Seattle police said on Twitter.“ Police have also documented robberies, assaults, and other violent crimes.
“Because suspects in recent shootings may still be in the area, and because numerous people in the area are in possession of firearms,” they said.
Protest organizer Derrek Allen Jones II said some demonstrators attempted to stay.
“People were trying to hold their ground, but you could see the cops literally storm through people’s beds while they were sleeping,” Jones said.
Police said 32 people were arrested by midmorning for failure to leave the area, obstruction, assault and unlawful weapon possession.
There have been increasing calls by critics, including President Trump, to remove protesters from the “Capitol Hill Occupied Protest” area east of downtown following the deadly shooting Monday of a 16-year-old boy and the June 20 killing of a 19-year-old man.
Protesters say they should not be blamed for the violence in the area. People continued to add artwork, flowers and candles at a memorial for the 16-year-old on Tuesday.
Police Chief Carmen Best has said the shootings are taking away from the message of racial justice promoted by protesters.
— Associated Press