By Fox News. Seattle will move to end the police-free zone known as the “Capitol Hill Organized Protest,” or “CHOP,” after two recent shootings, one of which was deadly, Mayor Jenny Durkan announced Monday — signaling that a stunning chapter in the city’s history could be drawing to a close.
The mayor said the violence was distracting from changes sought by thousands of peaceful protesters seeking to address racial inequity and police brutality. Activists set up “CHOP” in the city’s Capitol Hill neighborhood about two weeks ago, barricading off the area after police evacuated a ransacked precinct building there.
“The cumulative impacts of the gatherings and protests and the nighttime atmosphere and violence has led to increasingly difficult circumstances for our businesses and residents,” Durkan said at a news conference. “The impacts have increased and the safety has decreased.”
City leaders have faced mounting criticism — including from President Trump — over the protest zone amid reports of violence inside the area and how police can respond to such incidents. Police had not been able to go inside the zone. The dismantling of the CHOP followed the death of a 19-year-old man in a Saturday shooting in which another person was injured.
On Sunday, a 17-year-old was shot in the arm on the edge of the area. (Read more from “WATCH: Police Will Take Back ‘CHOP’ After Shootings” HERE)
Chaos Erupts Between Police and Rioters Trying to Topple Statue and Create ‘Black House Autonomous Zone’
By The Blaze. Social media videos showed violent clashes between police and demonstrators trying to erect a “Black House Autonomous Zone” and topple the statue of former U.S. President Andrew Jackson in Lafayette Square on Monday.
The riots are just the latest in a series of protests, some of which turned violent, in the wake of the May 25 killing of George Floyd at the hands of the Minneapolis police.
Protesters were attaching ropes and chains to the statue to force it down when Metropolitan Police and U.S. Park Police rode in and formed a protective barrier around the statue.
#NewsAlert: Soon another statue is going to be taken down in the #US, the andrew jackson statue, in front of the #whitehouse and a mile away from the Black house Autonomous zone #BHAZ, while police stands down again. pic.twitter.com/5xdNAhTg3e
— Sotiri Dimpinoudis (@Sotiridi1) June 23, 2020
Rioters are trying to tear down the Andrew Jackson statue in Lafayette Square in front of the White House.
— Benny (@bennyjohnson) June 23, 2020
BREAKING: Metropolitan Police and US Park Police move demonstrators back from Lafayette Square Park.
Two separate protesters tell me the groups want to tear down the Andrew Jackson statue near the White House. @NBCNews @MSNbc @nbcwashington pic.twitter.com/topGgjCjJi
— Shomari Stone (@shomaristone) June 23, 2020
(Read more from “Chaos Erupts Between Police and Rioters Trying to Topple Statue and Create ‘Black House Autonomous Zone'” HERE)