Mayor Jenny Durkan Issued Emergency Order to Vacate CHOP. Police Made Arrests
On July 1, at 4:58 a.m., Mayor Jenny Durkan (finally) issued an Executive Order for Seattle police to retake and dismantle the area being called “CHOP.” She declared it an unlawful assembly and issued orders to vacate the area due to violence and public safety issues.
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 Police Chief, Carmen Best issued this statement:
Today, Mayor Jenny Durkan issued a 48-hour public safety emergency order to vacate the East Precinct/Cal Anderson area. Seattle police will be in the area this morning enforcing the Mayor’s order.
This order, and our police response, comes after weeks of violence in and around the Capitol Hill Occupied Protest zone, including four shootings, resulting in multiple injuries and the deaths of two teenagers.
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.
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.
My job, and the job of our officers, is to protect and serve our community. This is not an end to our department’s engagement with demonstrators. We must continue our efforts to build trust and redefine our roles as guardians in our city. I will continue to work with the Community Police Commission, the Office of Police Accountability, the Inspector General, the Mayor, the Seattle City Council and ALL of our community and social justice partners in the coming weeks to encourage peace and to begin meaningful dialog about reenvisioning public safety in our community.
At least 100 police officers in tactical gear, with riot batons, helmets and weapons cleared Cal Anderson Park and the East Precinct. CHOP members reportedly overturned port-a-potties in their way. Those who did not respond to the “safe exit” areas from police were arrested. As 9:25 a.m., Seattle Police had made 31 arrests of people who refused to disperse.
“Officers have provided numerous dispersal orders this morning and continue to ask groups and individuals to leave the area. Police are providing safe exit points, and will continue to make arrests of individuals who have refused to comply with dispersal orders.” Seattle Police
Now the city and Mayor Jenny Durkan will have to deal with the cleanup of the incredible mess of graffiti, trash, and other items left behind. The days of anarchy are over in Seattle, at least for now. The exhibition of weak leadership may come back to haunt them at a future date.
Featured photo: Screenshot via Seattle’s King5