911, Black Lives Matter, BLM, Cal Anderson Park, Chief Carmen Best, CHOP, community, East Precinct, Mayor Durkan, peaceful assembly, right to protest, Seattle, Seattle occupied zone, Seattle Police, show of force, unlawful assembly, violent crime
It’s insane that the Mayor evacuated the police station for weeks. Without the police station, response to 911 calls, at least in some locations, went from around 5 minutes to around 20 minutes. They don’t tell how many died due to three weeks of delayed responses. The Police Chief didn’t want to abandon the police station, but the Mayor apparently made her do so. After four shootings, two fatal, the Mayor finally ordered the police to take back the police precinct. Apparently she has finally been informed that the right to peaceful protest isn’t just anywhere, anyhow, and any time people please. Government is supposed to provide some opportunity to peacefully assemble and protest in a public place. However, the time, place, and conditions appear to be established by laws, which may vary from place to place. That’s why there are parade permits, for instance. And, so, the CHOP “assembly” has finally been declared “unlawful”.
Seattle News release:
“Mayor Durkan Issues Executive Order Regarding Capitol Hill Protest Zone Written by Public Affairs on July 1, 2020 4:58 am
Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan issued an Executive Order (PDF) regarding the East Precinct and Cal Anderson Park area today. https://spdblotter.seattle.gov/executive-order-2020-08_directive-city-depts_cal-anderson-park-area/
The order declared the gathering in this area as an “unlawful assembly” requiring immediate action from city agencies, including the Seattle Police Department.
Statement from Chief Carmen Best:
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.
Today, the public will see an SPD operational response in the East Precinct and Cal Anderson Park. Officers will be donning a variety of uniforms, based on their assignment for the day. Some will be wearing a higher level of protective gear.
This equipment is not meant to be a preemptive show of force. Police are utilizing this equipment because individuals associated with the CHOP area are known to be armed and dangerous, and may be associated with active shootings, homicides, robberies, assaults, and other violent crimes.
The following video contains several open source media recordings of several violent events and numerous armed individuals in the CHOP.
Emphasis added. Original and updates here: https://spdblotter.seattle.gov/2020/07/01/mayor-durkan-issues-emergency-order-regarding-capitol-hill-protest-zone/
“At least 23 arrested as police clear Seattle’s CHOP zone”
“Seattle police begin making arrests in the CHOP zone”