Another day, another round of violence within Seattle’s infamous Chop zone. On Tuesday morning, another person was shot in the area.
This comes after the shooting of two people on Saturday, one of which who died, and another who was shot on Sunday night.
Even after Mayor Jenny Durkan’s warnings Monday that Chop would be dismantled, the violence hasn’t ceased.
There has been some indication that protesters are starting to leave the area though.
Our pals at Fox News with more on this story:
Andre Taylor, who founded the organization Not This Time, which aims to reduce police violence, said Tuesday that the four recent shootings in the area protesters initially called the Capitol Hill Autonomous Zone, or CHAZ, distract from important messages about racial injustice. His brother, Che Taylor, was fatally shot by Seattle police in February 2016.
"If there was no violence you should've stood there for as [long as] you wanted to stay there, but the violence creates a different narrative where the people in authority have to look at it differently,” Taylor told KING-TV.
Tuesday marked the 15th consecutive night protesters have occupied the Seattle’s Capitol Hill neighborhood, which includes the abandoned East Precinct, which officers were ordered to pull back from following a week of clashes between police and demonstrators in the wake of the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis on May 25.
People walk amidst barricades in what has been named the Capitol Hill Occupied Protest zone in Seattle Monday, June 22, 2020. For the second time in less than 48 hours, there was a shooting near the "CHOP" area that has been occupied by protesters after Seattle Police pulled back from several blocks of the city's Capitol Hill neighborhood near the Police Department's East Precinct. (AP)
Lorenzo Anderson, 19, was shot and killed in the CHOP early Saturday morning. A second man shot Saturday remained hospitalized in satisfactory condition. A third person, a 17-year-old, was shot Sunday night and has been released from the hospital. A fourth shooting early Tuesday morning left a man hospitalized also in satisfactory condition, KOMO reported.
“Our community does not support the violence,” Taylor told KOMO in another interview. “'Oh, somebody just got shot but Chop, Chop, Chop? Wait a minute, but you’re just going to look over this black man that got killed over here? This young baby; this 19-year-old? No. No. You’re going to pause and you’re going to think about this black man because that’s the reason you did it for.”
Mayor Durkan said Monday she planned to dismantle the CHOP after a weekend of violence in the area protesters deemed a “no cop, co-op.” Police Chief Carmen Best said that officers would soon return to the East Precinct, but Durkan vowed she would first work with community organizers to convince protesters to disband before using police intervention.
While it's somewhat promising that some within the Chop zone recognize that this madness has to end, one has to wonder if their will be any holdovers.
There is reason to believe that many of the protesters are already leaving though according to CNN.
The de facto leader of the autonomous protest zone in Seattle said Wednesday "a lot of people have already" left the area, days after the mayor said she was going to persuade people to leave.
A statement from a Twitter account that claims to be associated with the protest zone -- known as the Capitol Hill Autonomous Zone (CHAZ), or Capitol Hill Organized Protest -- said that "few people remain in our beloved CHOP."
The statement, signed by "The Capitol Hill Occupied Protest Solidarity Committee," added that "the CHOP project is now concluded."
Thousands of protesters have occupied the area, a four- to six-block portion of Seattle's Capitol Hill neighborhood, since June 8 in an effort to demand police reform and in reaction to the death of George Floyd.
However, in recent days, at least four shootings have been reported in the area, one of which left a person dead.
Hip-Hop artist and de facto CHOP leader Raz Simone acknowledged that the protesters have drawn attention from critics.
"The protesters of CHAZ have targets on their backs, and that is an issue," Simone told CNN. "A lot of peaceful protesters are being harmed, so it's sad that's where we're at in America."
As a result, Simone said "a lot of people are going to leave -- a lot of people already left."
As protesters disperse, it appears there is a concerted effort to maintain their activism through "virtual" means.
Let's just hope the worst is in the past and the citizens of Chop are sincere in their intentions to move on.
There is still reason to believe that it's not completely over yet.