skip to main content
Seattle Protests for Civil Rights
caption: Seattle police officers hold their batons while standing in a police line next to chalk writing on the sidewalk that says 'fuck the police,' on the fifth day of protests following the violent police killing of George Floyd on Tuesday, June 2, 2020, at the intersection 11th and Pine Streets in Seattle.
Enlarge Icon
Seattle police officers hold their batons while standing in a police line next to chalk writing on the sidewalk that says 'fuck the police,' on the fifth day of protests following the violent police killing of George Floyd on Tuesday, June 2, 2020, at the intersection 11th and Pine Streets in Seattle.
Credit: KUOW Photo/Megan Farmer

These are protesters who were injured by Seattle Police in demonstrations for racial justice

A woman nearly blinded by a rubber police bullet.

Another woman who 'died three times' after being hit with a flash bang grenade.

A child pepper sprayed.

And a man punctured in the abdomen by a police bicycle.

Amid the Seattle protests against racism and police violence, several stories of people injured by police grabbed our readers' attention. These are their stories.

Nikita Tarver, 35: Possibly blinded by police projectile

caption: Demonstrators, along with their attorneys and relatives, speak out against the Seattle Police Department's crowd control tactics against protesters during a press conference on Monday, June 22, 2020 in Bellevue. The boy, in front, encountered tear gas during a protest. The woman in the pink shirt is Nikita Tarver, who was hit in the eye with a rubber bullet, and may have lost sight in that eye.
Enlarge Icon
Demonstrators, along with their attorneys and relatives, speak out against the Seattle Police Department's crowd control tactics against protesters during a press conference on Monday, June 22, 2020 in Bellevue. The boy, in front, encountered tear gas during a protest. The woman in the pink shirt is Nikita Tarver, who was hit in the eye with a rubber bullet, and may have lost sight in that eye.
Credit: KUOW Photo/Liz Brazile

Nikita Tarver attended the downtown demonstration on May 30, the first weekend of the protests in Seattle. It was her first time participating in a protest.

Tarver said she had bent down to retrieve a sign she and her friend made from the ground when suddenly, she felt something hit her left eye. That something was later reported to be a rubber projectile fired by police.

"I screamed in sheer terror," said Tarver, who wore bandages over her injured eye and thick, wrap-around sunglasses.

She described the experience as being "hell on Earth."

She has had one surgery.

She said she has developed cataracts and that doctors don't yet know if her retina is still attached to her eye.

"There's so much blood in the back of my eye, they can't really tell," she said.

READ: A child pepper sprayed, a woman's eye severely injured. Protesters condemn Seattle Police's tactics

Boy, 7: Pepper sprayed during protest

Mando Avery had brought his young son along with him to a peaceful rally against police violence and racism on May 30. He said the protest, held in downtown Seattle, was personal to him — he'd lost a close friend to police brutality.

Avery said he had been standing around when he felt something hit his face. But it didn't dawn on him that police had deployed a chemical irritant, believed to be pepper spray, until he heard his now 8-year-old son screaming.

"I looked down and that's when I felt it in my eyes. But I could see it all over my son," he said during a press conference on Monday, surrounded by relatives.

Footage of the aftermath was captured by 34-year-old hairstylist Evan Hreha. The widely shared video shows the boy screaming and crying in agony as bystanders pour milk into his eyes, in an effort to relieve the pain.

READ: He captured footage of a child pepper sprayed during a Seattle protest. Then he was arrested

Aubreanna Inda, 26: 'Died three times' after being hit by police blast ball

caption: The exact moment that the blast hit Aubreanna Inda, 26, at the demonstrations on Capitol Hill. Seattle police officers deployed chemical agents, pepper spray and flash-bang grenades on protesters at the intersection of 11th Avenue and East Pine Street on the 10th day of protests following the police killing of George Floyd, shortly after midnight on Monday, June 8, 2020, in Seattle.
Enlarge Icon
The exact moment that the blast hit Aubreanna Inda, 26, at the demonstrations on Capitol Hill. Seattle police officers deployed chemical agents, pepper spray and flash-bang grenades on protesters at the intersection of 11th Avenue and East Pine Street on the 10th day of protests following the police killing of George Floyd, shortly after midnight on Monday, June 8, 2020, in Seattle.
Credit: KUOW Photo/Megan Farmer

On the tenth day of protests for racial justice in Seattle, a petite young woman stood between protesters and a barricade of police.

She had long dark hair, and wore a blue flower-print dress with combat boots. She had attended almost every day of the protests, and here she was with four other protesters, standing as a buffer against a wall police in riot gear, three rows deep. As the protest grew louder, police repeatedly called for the crowd to move back.

READ: This 26 year old died three times after police hit her with a blast ball

And then BANG. The police had thrown a blast ball that hit her in the sternum. A fireball flared at her feet, nearly half her size. And then another flash, as smoke filled the air. She spun around, her hand covering her face. She collapsed, and screamed.

Later doctors would tell Aubreanna Inda, 26, that she died three times that night.

Joaquin Uribe, 19: Punctured in the abdomen by a police bicycle

caption: Joaquin Uribe stands for a portrait on Tuesday, June 30, 2020, in the University District neighborhood of Seattle.
Enlarge Icon
Joaquin Uribe stands for a portrait on Tuesday, June 30, 2020, in the University District neighborhood of Seattle.
Credit: KUOW Photo/Megan Farmer

Joaquin Uribe, 19, had recently graduated from a nursing program, and saw an opportunity to put his medical knowledge to use during the May 31 demonstration in Seattle.

A half hour before curfew, which had been set at 5 p.m., Uribe encountered a woman who was crouched down and holding her face in her hands. He had with him a water bottle containing liquid antacid and water, a solution commonly used to flush the eyes of people exposed to chemical irritants.

READ: This street medic was jailed in isolation after Seattle police accused him of assault

Moments later, a line of cops on bicycles emerged and advanced toward protesters. Uribe said one of the officers hit him with his bike, startling him. The impact of the collision, Uribe said, caused the open bottle of liquid antacid and water in his hand to splash into the officer's face.

"The next thing I remember is, I'm on the ground on top of his bike," he said. "And he's on top of me and both of our body weight is pushing me into his bike. And his bike pedal actually made a puncture wound in my in my abdomen."