Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan Issues Order For CHOP Occupants To Vacate The Area
Seattle police have begun arresting those occupying the area known as CHOP after Mayor Jenny Durkan issued an executive order telling protesters to vacate the area, according to a report by USA Today.
The protesters began occupying several blocks in Seattle in order to protest police brutality and systemic racism. The location was first known as CHAZ, Capitol Hill Autonomous Zone, before being renamed CHOP, Capitol Hill Occupied Protest.
After violence broke out in the area. Durkan issued the executive order. At least two fatal shootings occurred within CHOP and other shootings, robberies, and violence have taken place since the area was first overtaken.
Carmen Best, Seattle Police Chief, said that she supports the protests, but “enough is enough. The CHOP has become lawless and brutal.”
Seattle police announced on Twitter that they had gone into the area with “additional protective gear” in fear of armed suspects. They made at least 23 arrests, and there were no clear signs of clashes between the police and protesters.
In early June, protesters began demonstrating outside of a police precinct. Police used tear gas on the demonstrators despite the mayor banning the use of it within that time frame. Police then removed barricades from the precinct and abandoned the building, which was then overtaken by protesters and declared a police-free zone.
For several days, those in CHOP gave speeches on racism, painted murals, created a community garden, and handed out food. Durkan defended the protest after President Trump called the demonstrators “domestic terrorists” and demanded that the area be cleared.
Durkan became critical of the protest, alongside others, after violence began to break out and nearby businesses and property owners filed a lawsuit against the city. Last week, the mayor stated they would begin to dismantle the area, and the actions to do so took place in recent days.
Read the full report here.