For a city longing to be in the national spotlight for days on end, the past few weeks in Seattle is not likely what the left-leaning city government and mayor had in mind, but many believe was as predictable as November rain in this Northwest liberal enclave.
Embattled Mayor Jenny Durkan said Monday the “Capitol Hill Occupied Protest” zone—known by the acronym “CHOP”—will be taken back and police will be moving back into the abandoned East Precinct building “soon,” as reported by KING, without saying exactly when, leaving critics skeptical.
Three weekend shootings, including one fatal, appears to have been the political game-changer for Durkan, as suggested by AmmoLand News. A fourth shooting Tuesday was the proverbial frosting on the cake, and one neighborhood resident told KOMO News, “It was doomed to happen from Day One. No one wanted to say it, but I’m surprised it didn’t happen sooner. It should have ended when the Car Tender got broken and the mob went down and broke his fence. It did not have to come to this.”
Matthew Ploszaj lives “in the vicinity” of the CHOP, according to the report.
Officers investigating a shooting at 11 Avenue/East Denny Way. Reports of one person injured. More information when available.
— Seattle Police Dept. (@SeattlePD) June 23, 2020
But KOMO’s story also noted that at least some of the protesters who seized a six-block area of the city’s Capitol Hill neighborhood more than two weeks ago are vowing to remain until their demands are met. They want the Seattle Police Department budget cut in half, they want the city to fund black communities, and they want to free all protesters.
Seattle’s CHOP zone has put the city under a microscope. President Donald Trump mentioned the city during his speech in Oklahoma over the weekend. He claimed to have offered to clean up the zone but so far no request has come.
There appears to be one inescapable conclusion to be drawn from this experience. It’s bad publicity and worse policy to surrender a section of any city to a mob because no matter how much peace and brotherhood are discussed, the sudden outbreak of violence shows not everyone is listening, critics contend. There has been virtually no police presence, which critics assert has allowed the criminal element to move in.
While the mayor has offered assurances the CHOP zone will be restored to the city, skeptics are waiting for it to actually happen.
The victim in Saturday’s fatal shooting has been identified as Horace Lorenzo Anderson, 19. He was an aspiring rapper known as “Lil Mob.”
Socialist Councilwoman Kshama Sawant earned no small degree of criticism when she attempted to blame the violence on “right wing” outsiders, a claim for which there is no evidence. In a statement quoted by The Stranger, a Seattle alternative newspaper, Sawant alleged, “It is no accident that right-wing hate and violence has grown dramatically with Donald Trump in the White House. If this killing turns out to be a right-wing attack, President Trump bears direct responsibility, since he has fomented reactionary hatred specifically against the peaceful Capitol Hill occupation, and even threatened to intervene with federal troops. Also responsible are the conservative and corporate media outlets, both locally and nationally, which have themselves whipped up right-wing hate by completely misrepresenting the nature of the peaceful protest occupation, and who are continuing to do so even now, claiming that this shooting proves the CHOP is descending into chaos. Seattle’s establishment Mayor Jenny Durkan and Police Chief Carmen Best also share responsibility for having portrayed our protest movement as violent.”