Seattle police moving people out of CHOP zone following mayor's order

by Laura Mize · Jul 1st, 2020 11:38 am

Last Updated Jul 2nd, 2020 at 12:35 pm

Police officers in Seattle are working to take back the area known for weeks as the Capitol Hill Occupied Protest, or Capitol Hill Autonomous Zone.

The area, which includes several city blocks, a park, and an abandoned police precinct, was taken over by demonstrators demanding defunding of the police department and other actions.

Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan issued an executive order around 5 a.m. Wednesday that people must leave Cal Anderson Park, which is included in the protest zone, and that city departments would begin working together Wednesday to clean the area and resume city control. The order specified police department authority to remove people from the area and to arrest those who refuse to comply.

On Tuesday, city transportation employees began removing concrete barriers set up around the protest area.

The mayor's order and subsequent clearing of the park follow shootings in the park, which killed two teenagers, and other violent crimes.

"The conditions in the Cal Anderson Park area have deteriorated to the point where public life, health, and safety are threatened by activities in and around this area," the executive order read.

Seattle Police Chief Carmen Best issued a statement Wednesday about the dismantling of the protest area.

"I support peaceful demonstrations," Best said. "Black Lives Matter, and I too want to propel this movement toward meaningful change in our community. But enough is enough. The CHOP has become lawless and brutal."

Fox News reported Wednesday morning that more than a dozen people were arrested in the efforts to clear out the park.


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