As protests demanding justice following the death of George Floyd take place in major cities across America, peaceful rallies turned violent in Seattle, Washington, on Saturday. While numerous videos shared on social media showed protestors clashing with police, one particular news clip involving a cheesecake went viral.
On May 30, KIRO 7 News happened to film a protestor walking by in downtown Seattle holding an entire strawberry cheesecake with a whipped cream topping. While wearing a protective mask, the woman was casually strolling down the street with what appeared to be a stolen dessert from The Cheesecake Factory.
— Ms. Chanandler Bong (@joefarrell86) May 31, 2020
Video of the woman stealing the cheesecake has already been viewed over a million times. Many users online dubbed her a “hero.”
WHY IS THE PERSON WHO LOOTED A DISPLAY CHEESCAKE FROM THE CHEESECAKE FACTORY IN DOWNTOWN SEATTLE MY HERO???
— sketchyᶻᶻᶻ🔋 (@sketchysoot) May 31, 2020
I just hope the Cheesecake Factory girl from the Seattle protest has a good day
— Jannell 🌹 (@laniouka) May 31, 2020
While this viral video gave viewers a nice laugh, the riots which broke out in Seattle on Saturday night were no joking matter. KIRO 7 reported that windows of The Cheesecake Factory were completely smashed to bits and looters were seen stealing bottles of liquor in addition to dessert from the restaurant’s display case.
— ash shah (@itsashshah) May 30, 2020
Seattle police cars and vehicles were set on fire, buildings were vandalized along Sixth Avenue near Olive Street and numerous storefronts had their windows shattered during the riots. Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan announced an emergency curfew from 5 p.m. to 5 a.m. for both Saturday and Sunday to prevent more violence and widespread property damage happening across the city.
Late on Saturday evening, Durkin tweeted, “I hope that we treat each other with the kindness and compassion that we all deserve during this unprecedented and trying moment in our history. I think we will see the message of destruction is not as strong as the message of hope, love, and peace.”
Washington Governor Jay Inslee Activated the National Guard on Saturday
NORDSTROM ABLAZE IN SEATTLE pic.twitter.com/PTkWS7gElF
— The_Real_Fly (@The_Real_Fly) May 31, 2020
Following the violent rallies on Saturday, during which people looted and then set fire to the flagship Nordstrom department store, Washington Governor Jay Inslee tweeted, “I have activated 200 members of the @WANationalGuard to help protect against property damage and manage crowds and traffic in downtown Seattle. They will be unarmed and work under the city’s leadership.”
Earlier in the day, Inslee encouraged a peaceful protest. He tweeted, “If you choose to protest today, please be safe and peaceful. These are important issues that deserve our full attention, without distraction from violence and destruction. Without solutions to inequity, the long road to justice will run even longer.”
— Joshua Lewis (@realjoshlewis) May 30, 2020
“I fully support the right to free speech and peaceful assembly,” Inslee continued. “I applaud every Washingtonian standing for what they believe in, but we must do so in a way that allows space for these important and necessary discussions, not in a way that inspires fear.”
Police & Protestors Violently Clashed In Cities Across the United States on Saturday
— Jonathan Eren (@DroidSquiggle) May 31, 2020
The harrowing scene in Seattle was not unique to the Emerald City. What were supposed to be peaceful protests turned into riots in Minneapolis, where now-fired police officer Derek Chauvin was caught on video kneeling on Floyd’s neck before he died. People in Washington, D.C., where the White House was briefly put on lockdown the night before, Louisville, Atlanta, Los Angeles, New York, Denver, Phoenix, Memphis and Columbus were all taking to the streets in the name of Floyd.
A man was taken into police custody inside the Walgreens on 3rd / Pike. pic.twitter.com/bScJLD6C4d
— Evan Bush (@evanbush) May 31, 2020
KING 5 News reported that several city transit vehicles were set on fire and at least a dozen businesses in downtown Seattle suffered property damage.