Seattle police have declared riots during recent protests. In legal terms, what does that mean?
When is a riot not a riot? When it happens in Seattle. Or anywhere in Washington, for that matter, where riots don’t exist, in the law at least.
In 2013, the state legislature removed the word “riot” from the law pretty much altogether, instead defining violent illegal gatherings as “criminal mischief.”
Still, the Seattle Police Department (SPD) has used the term multiple times in recent months as justification for dispersing crowds of protesters who have gathered to protest police violence and racism after the May 25 death of George Floyd...