Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan announced that the city would take back control of the “Capitol Hill Autonomous Zone” after multiple shootings in the area.
The Capitol Hill Autonomous Zone, also called the Capitol Hill Organized Protest (CHOP), was erected after protesters took over an area around a police precinct after repeated clashes with police.
On Saturday, a man was fatally shot and another was wounded in the zone.
On Sunday, a 17-year-old was shot in the arm in the area.
On Tuesday, an unidentified man was wounded in a shooting near the CHOP, though it is unclear exactly where the shooting took place.
Durkan says no more:
“Tens of thousands of people have been gathering in Capitol Hill for nearly two weeks to continue their protest, to build community and demand change. During the day, it has been a place for healing, education, and community - but it is very different at night,” Durkan said on Twitter. “In the past two nights, three different people have been shot at the CHOP. Two were injured, and one has tragically died. Any incidents of gun violence in our city are deeply concerning.”
Durkan said the shootings were “unacceptable.”
“While we believe community and demonstrators can and should continue gathering peacefully on Capitol Hill, the disorder, violence and impacts on businesses and residents threatens to derail the CHOP's critical message calling for justice, equality, and systemic reform,” she said. “For the short-term, our Police Department will need East Precinct to ensure public safety and appropriately respond to more than 100,000 9-1-1 calls. In the near future, SPD will be peacefully returning to the East Precinct.”
“But we will not lose sight of the future: part of our plan to re-imagine policing should will also include the long-term future of the East Precinct on Capitol Hill and how police and community resources are present in our communities,” she added. “On Capitol Hill and across Seattle, we need to have true community space - with connections to community-based organizations, health clinics, and restorative justice programs - that will help us move forward together to dismantle generations of systemic racism in our City.”
Protesters tried to create a White House autonomous zone:
The move came on the same day that a group of protesters attempted to form a “Black House Autonomous Zone” outside the White House on Sunday.
US Park Police intervened when protesters also tried to tear down a statue of former President Andrew Jackson.
“Numerous people arrested in D.C. for the disgraceful vandalism, in Lafayette Park, of the magnificent Statue of Andrew Jackson, in addition to the exterior defacing of St. John’s Church across the street,” Trump tweeted on Monday. “10 years in prison under the Veteran’s Memorial Preservation Act. Beware!”
“There will never be an ‘Autonomous Zone’ in Washington, D.C., as long as I’m your President,” he added. “If they try they will be met with serious force!”