WSP refers charges for 12 protesters who shut down I-5

The Washington State Patrol (WSP) has referred charges for 12 protesters who blocked the I-5 freeway back in early January, calling for a ceasefire in Gaza.

WSP referred five charges to the King County Prosecuting Attorney's Office last week, and added seven this week.

The Prosecutor's Office will determine what can be filed based on the provided evidence.


PHOTOS: Protesters block lanes on I-5 in Seattle, calling for ceasefire in Gaza

After hours of traffic backups spanning several miles, I-5 in Seattle has reopened. It was previously shut down by protesters calling for a ceasefire in the Israel-Hamas war.

The charges are against demonstrators who called for a ceasefire in the Israel-Hamas war in downtown Seattle, blocking Interstate 5 for about five hours on January 9, 2024.

WSP said detectives have reviewed hundreds of hours of social media and video footage of the protest, and are referring charges accordingly.

The Prosecutor's Office said they are staying in contact with WSP, and they should have a charging decision by this month.


WSP explains why it took 5 hours to clear massive protest on I-5

The illegal I-5 takeover in Seattle started at around 1:15 p.m. on Saturday, and it took five long hours before traffic moved again on northbound I-5 at Denny Way and East Pine St.

The Prosecutor's Office also said it normally doesn't handle misdemeanor cases, but because this happened on a state road, it was referred to the District Court Unit.

WSP is also requesting anyone with information on the identities or whereabouts of those who played a role in the dangerous freeway takeover to contact them at or Sergeant Chase Van Cleave at (425) 240-4161.