‘Summer of love’ in Seattle ends with gunfire, one dead
Seattle’s embattled mayor asked the protesters “occupying” the Capitol Hill area (CHAZ) to disband and go home after three people were shot there over the weekend, one of them fatally. Protesters have prevented cops from entering the area, declaring CHAZ an autonomous zone with no need for police.
“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,” said Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan at a press conference. “The impacts have increased and the safety has decreased.”
Durkan has been blasted by critics as she ignored the crime and chaos that has become increasingly apparent in CHAZ. Protesters moved in a few weeks ago, and the Seattle police abandoned the precinct, boarding up the windows. Since then, police have come under heavy criticism for ignoring calls about thefts, rapes, assaults and arson originating from the area.
Both Washington State Gov. Jay Inslee and Mayor Durkan have played ignorant, pretending they either didn’t know about the protests or downplaying the violence and chaos in CHAZ.
When asked earlier in the crisis by CNN’s Chris Cuomo how long the mayor would tolerate protesters occupying downtown Seattle and barring cops from the area, Durkan said “I don’t know. We could have the summer of love,” comparing it to the hippie movement in San Francisco in the summer of 1967.
But as violence spun out of control, Durkan has since decided that summer should end early, as least in CHAZ.
“It was doomed to happen from day one,” Matthew Ploszaj, an area resident, told KOMO TV. “No one wanted to say it, but I’m surprised it didn’t happen sooner.
“Clear it out, peacefully remove them, that’s fine,” Ploszaj concluded. “But start shuffling them away, they don’t need to stay here overnight.”
Other residents had similar concerns, texting the TV station video of protesters erecting barriers to authorities out of the area.
Tweeted Tammy Mutasa, a reporter at KOMO: “Neighbor just sent me this video showing #CHOP protestors [sic] using a truck to haul concrete barriers away from the front of the East Precinct where SDOT originally put them. They’re now blocking Pine Street @komonews #komonews”
Durkan says that she’ll negotiate with protesters to end the protest without the use of force.
Meanwhile, Sen. Ted Cruz spoke for conservatives everywhere, who have witnessed the liberal nervous breakdown about cops and policing with incredulity, by tweeting: “This is exactly why our communities need law enforcement.”
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