In response to a potential protest that may occur in downtown Kirkland at 2 p.m. Monday, the city of Kirkland is strongly recommending that all residents stay away from downtown Kirkland and waterfront parks starting at 1 p.m. June 1.
Business owners of brick and mortar storefronts are encouraged to shut down and to secure their buildings and any items of value within their stores. Community members and visitors are being asked to avoid downtown and any other commercial shopping areas after 1 p.m. Monday.
The Kirkland Police Department is prepared to respond to any potential incidents. The city manager will be proclaiming an emergency this afternoon to help prepare the city and community to respond to any incidents that may occur, but at this time does not plan on issuing a curfew.
“We are receiving reports that Kirkland is a possible target for looting and destruction,” said city manager Kurt Triplett in a press release. “Out of an abundance of caution, we’re encouraging these precautionary measures to help prevent any criminal activity that could cause further damage to our local businesses and community.”
“The city council appreciates all of the individuals that are exercising their free speech rights to peacefully speak out against the murder of George Floyd and the ongoing racial inequities that exist in our society,” said Mayor Penny Sweet in a press release. “It is unfortunate that a criminal element is seizing on this opportunity to engage in looting and other destructive activities. We hope that community members and business owners will join us in implementing precautionary measures to protect our community.”
Kirkland, like the rest of King County, is still in Phase 1 of Governor Inslee’s Safe Start proclamation. Community members are still being asked to limit travel to essential and permitted activities.
Retail remains limited to curbside pick-up only.
The city and its police and fire departments are monitoring the regional situation very closely and are in communication with other local, state and federal law enforcement and fire agencies.
This is a fluid situation and the city recognizes that businesses may be asked to take defensive action at any time over the next week. Ongoing updates will be made on the city’s website and social media accounts.