Another person charged with torching Seattle police cars during May riot

Federal authorities have charged another person with setting police vehicles on fire during a May 30 riot in Seattle.

The U.S. Attorney’s Office says 20-year-old Kelly Thomas Jackson, of Edmonds, was arrested Wednesday morning on charges of arson and unlawful possession of a destructive device.

Investigators said they received an anonymous tip identifying Jackson as a suspect, and that video recordings showed him wearing a distinctive sweatshirt and gas mask as he threw Molotov cocktails in or at two police vehicles on May 30. According to the criminal complaint, federal agents later observed him wearing the same sweatshirt as the arsonist in the video, and that cell phone location data placed him in the location of the arsons.

Screenshots in the photo library on his phone included information about the protest and a recipe for Molotov cocktails, the FBI said.

No attorney was listed for Jackson in court records.

Eight people now face federal charges related to the protests in Seattle, including Margaret Aislinn Channon, who has pleaded not guilty to allegations she torched five police cars on May 30 — including one of the same cars Jackson is also accused of burning. Prosecutors said Jackson threw a Molotov cocktail into the vehicle around the same time Channon used an aerosol can and open flame.

Others have been charged with setting fires at the police department’s East Precinct building in the Capitol Hill neighborhood, a focus of the protests, and with carrying Molotov cocktails to the protests.

“These individuals are hijacking legitimate First Amendment protected activity,” Raymond Duda, the FBI’s special agent in charge in Seattle, said in a news release. “By investigating this violent activity, the messages of peaceful protests have a better chance of being heard.”