Seattle Police Reclaim CHOP, Disperse Protesters After Mayor's Order - Rolling Stone
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Seattle Police Reclaim Capitol Hill Autonomous Zone

At least 31 people arrested as city retakes Capitol Hill following string of four shootings in 10 days in autonomous zone

People congregate at Cal Anderson Park on June 3rd during the the protests that led to the Seattle Police Dept. abandoning the East Precinct in Seattle's Capitol Hill neighborhood.
No Cop Co-Op, where food donations were distributed to anyone in need, photographed on June 12th inside CHOP in Seattle's Capitol Hill neighborhod.
A cardboard cutout of an armed individual, photoshopped into wire images as part of FoxNews' coverage, at one of CHOP's barricades in Seattle's Capitol Hill neighborhood on June 26th.
"Trumpet Man" scolds Seattle Police Dept. officers outside CHOP perimters in Seattle's Capitol Hill neighborhood on June 26th.
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"Two-clip Rick" arms himself while another man continues casually eating breakfast after another individual cocked a semiautomatic rifle during a heated argument with other protesters in front of the occupied police precinct inside CHOP in Seattle's Capitol Hill neighborhood on June 26th. The situation was deescalated moments later.

Seattle police announced Wednesday that they would begin the process of evacuating the city’s CHOP — the Capitol Hill Organized Protest that became the epicenter of Seattle’s George Floyd protests — following a string of violent incidents in the autonomous zone.

Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan also issued an executive order calling the CHOP an “unlawful assembly” and setting a  48-hour public safety emergency  order, with police beginning the process of vacating the area early Wednesday morning. While most of the protesters quickly abandoned the area, at least 31 people were arrested for failure to disperse, obstruction, resisting arrest, and assault, KING 5 reported.

“As I have said, and I will say again, I support peaceful demonstrations. Black Lives Matter, and I too want to help propel this movement toward meaningful change in our community. But enough is enough,” Seattle police chief Carmen Best said in a statement.

Early Monday morning, a 16-year-old was shot and killed in the CHOP, while a 14-year-old was taken to a nearby hospital in critical condition. The shooting marked the fourth incident in the CHOP area over a 10-day span, a stretch of gun violence that left six people — mostly teenagers — shot and two dead.

Best added, “The CHOP has become lawless and brutal. Four shootings — two fatal — robberies, assaults, violence, and countless property crimes have occurred in this several block area.”

chop seattle police evacuation protest

Seattle’s Capitol Hill Organized Protest on Wednesday morning.

Katrina Shelby

Following Durkan’s order Wednesday, Seattle police and construction crews began the process of clearing the area in downtown Seattle, including removing large concrete barriers and homemade spike strips installed by protesters and reclaiming the abandoned East Precinct police station that was seized by protesters in late May, at the onset of the George Floyd protests.

Activist Andre Taylor, whose brother was killed by Seattle police in 2016, told local NBC affiliate KING 5, “I think if they had pivoted to those [CHOP] deaths as strongly as George Floyd’s death, I think that Seattle would have continued to support this group. But for there to be continual shootings and deaths consistently, we just couldn’t allow this place to continue. It didn’t end how it started and that’s the tragedy of the situation.”

In This Article: George Floyd Protests, Seattle

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