Lawless In Seattle: Autonomous Republic Of ‘CHOP’ To Be Dismantled After Multiple Incidents Of ViolencePic Courtesy: One America News

Seattle city authorities announced on Monday that they would initiate steps to dismantle CHAZ (Capitol Hill Autonomous Zone), later renamed as CHOP (Capitol Hill Occupied Protest), following multiple incidents of shooting at the site in 48 hours, The Seattle Times reported.

“It’s time for people to go home. It is time for us to restore Cal Anderson and Capitol Hill so it can be a vibrant part of the community,” said the Seattle mayor, Jenny Durkan, during a press conference. “We can still accommodate people who want to protest peacefully, come there and gather. But the impacts on the businesses and residents and community are now too much.” she added.

During the press conference the Seattle police chief, Carmen Best, said that while there had been people protesting peacefully in the ‘autonomous zone’, there had also been “shootings, a rape, assaults, burglary, arson, and property destruction”.

“Capitol Hill Occupied Protest” zone, or CHOP, refers to six blocks of Seattle neighborhood of Capitol Hill that has been occupied by protesters for two weeks after they drove police away from the area. The zone evolved after weeks of protests in the city over alleged police brutality and racism, sparked by the police killing of George Floyd, a Black man, in Minneapolis. Protesters have a number of demands, including defunding the Seattle Police Department by at least 50%.

In the first shooting incident that occurred inside the zone on early Saturday morning, a 19-year-old man was killed and a 33-year-old man critically injured. The suspects in that shooting, who fled the scene, have not been arrested.

In another incident of shooting in Seattle’s “autonomous zone” that occurred on Sunday night, a 17-year-old boy with a gunshot wound arrived at Harborview Medical Center in a private vehicle and is said to be in serious condition.

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