Police dispersed protesters in Seattle’s Capitol Hill Occupation Protest (CHOP) area and arrested at least 31 people on Wednesday after an emergency order by Mayor Jenny Durkan.
What We Know:
- Durkan issued an executive order Tuesday in response to “reported life safety, public health, and property issues” in and around the East Precinct and Cal Anderson Park area, which protesters have occupied for the past few weeks and which has been marred by a series of shootings.
- “Due to ongoing violence and public safety issues in the East Precinct/Cal Anderson Park area, Mayor Jenny Durkan has issued an executive order to vacate the area. Seattle police will be in the area this morning enforcing the Mayor’s order,” the Seattle Police Department tweeted.
Due to ongoing violence and public safety issues in the East Precinct/Cal Anderson Park area. Mayor Jenny Durkan has issued an executive order to vacate the area. Seattle police will be in the area this morning enforcing the Mayor’s order. https://t.co/SpVRYIB8eg pic.twitter.com/JAt2AvUTCr
— Seattle Police Dept. (@SeattlePD) July 1, 2020
- The 31 arrests were for failure to disperse, obstruction, assault, and unlawful weapon possession, according to police.
- Seattle Police Chief Carmen Best stated the move comes after violence in the zone.
- “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,” she said.
- Thousands of protesters have occupied a nearly six-block area, known as CHOP or CHAZ, since early June to demand police reform following the police killing of George Floyd. There have been roughly five shootings in the area in the past two weeks, including two fatal ones, undermining its original motivation.
“It is over because of the violence,” Seattle community leader Andre Taylor told CNN last week. “I’ve told people here don’t be focused on the location. CHOP is not a location, it is an idea.” Dustin Akers, who lives in an apartment complex in the heart of the CHOP area, took several videos of police clearing the zone around 5 a.m. Wednesday.