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CHOP occupants rebuild barricades at Seattle's cop-free zone

CHOP avoids the chop: Defiant occupants of Seattle’s cop-free zone rebuild barricades and fortify their compound just MINUTES after the city attempted to reclaim the ‘war zone’

  • Demonstrators have occupied several blocks around the Seattle Police Department’s East Precinct and a park for about two weeks; police had abandoned the precinct following clashes with protesters 
  • But by Tuesday morning crews were working to pull down the barriers following the shooting death of a teen 
  • Protesters were then filmed lining up plastic barriers, couches and trash cans in attempt to replace barricades
  • A volunteer medic had called the area an ‘active war zone’ and said 300 rounds were fired on Sunday night 

Protesters at Seattle’s ‘occupied’ protest zone rebuilt barricades just minutes after the city tore them down Tuesday following two fatal shootings in the area.  

Demonstrators have occupied several blocks around the Seattle Police Department’s East Precinct and a park for about two weeks. Police had abandoned the precinct following clashes with protesters calling for an end to police brutality. 

But by Tuesday morning crews were working to pull down the barriers. A handwashing station was also removed after concrete barricades were cleared by Seattle Department of Transportation workers at the intersection of 10th Ave. and Pine St.

Protesters were then filmed lining up plastic barriers, couches and trash cans in attempt to replace the blocks. DailyMail.com has contacted both the police and the Mayor’s office on how they plan to deal with the area going forward.

City employees were seen handing out flyers to the campers at nearby the Cal Anderson Park telling them they had to be out of the park by noon today. They also provided numbers and information about finding shelter. 

The apparent move to dismantle parts of the area follows the shooting death of the unidentified 16-year-old boy in the early hours of Monday morning. A 14-year-old was also critically injured when eyewitnesses say armed security inside the zone fired 300 rounds.    

Volunteer medic Marty Jackson had described the area as an ‘active war zone’ and said: ‘I don’t think we’re gonna stop here.’  

He told KUOW it was CHOP’s own armed security who fired at the car driven by the teen after it crashed into a barrier, killing him and critically wounding the 14-year-old. 

Warning people not to come to the CHOP zone, Jackson added: ‘Because now it’s like pretty much an active war zone. Now you have security and medical always looking around waiting to see the next.’ 

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Protesters at Seattle’s ‘occupied’ protest zone rebuilt barricades just minutes after the city tore them down Tuesday

Protesters were then filmed lining up plastic barriers, couches and trash cans in attempt to replace concrete barricades

Protesters move a couch and other items to replace concrete barricades cleared by Seattle Department of Transportation workers at the intersection of 10th Ave. and Pine St., Tuesday

 Demonstrators have occupied several blocks around the Seattle Police Department’s East Precinct and a park for about two weeks

Police had abandoned the precinct following clashes with protesters calling for an end to police brutality. But by Tuesday morning crews were working to pull down the barriers

There have been increasing calls by critics, including President Donald Trump, to remove protesters from the area east of downtown following the fatal shooting Monday and the June 20 killing of a 19-year-old man. Protesters insist they should not be blamed for the violence in the area.

Mayor Jenny Durkan said last week that the city would start trying to dismantle what has been named the ‘Capitol Hill Organized Protest’ area. 

City workers on Friday tried to remove makeshift barriers erected around the area but stopped their work after demonstrators objected.  

Seattle Department of Transportation Director Sam Zimbabwe told Converge Media Tuesday morning: ‘We’re trying to take out some of the barriers. We said all along we were trying to open the streets.’

Police Assistant Chief Adrian Diaz said the barriers would be removed in incremental steps to allow traffic to move through portions of the road that had previously been closed off.

‘We’re just making sure we’re having our roads open and have the ability to get people needed services, because there are a lot of people in crisis in this area,’ he said.

Zimbabwe also said the city was not expecting to clear out the barriers in front of Seattle police’s East Precinct on Tuesday.

But despite what the city officials have said about clearing out more concrete barriers, protesters are mobilizing just in case.

A CHOP security person who refused to give his name told DailyMail.com exclusively: ‘We are getting ready for anything. We don’t trust the city or the police. If they try to come back and remove more barriers they are going to get past off of us.’

On Monday, a representative of the mayor’s office said in an email that the original message behind the protests had been ‘undermined by the violence in the area’.

‘The area has increasingly attracted more individuals bent on division and violence, and it is risking the lives of individuals,’ wrote spokesperson Ernesto Apreza. ‘There has been unacceptable behavior by individuals who are preventing city employees from doing their job.’

Protesters are on edge right now and are willing to go to battle for their cause, one known as ‘Trumpet Man’ told DailyMail.com: ‘I hope they call in the National Guard on us, I’m willing to die for our cause!’  

TIMELINE OF VIOLENCE IN SEATTLE’S CHOP ZONE

June 8: Protesters occupy the area; police abandoned the precinct

June 20: A 19-year-old man is shot dead and a 33-year-old man was wounded 

June 24: Nearby businesses and property owners filed a federal lawsuit against the city 

June 29: Two teens shot – one fatally – in Jeep at zone’s concrete barriers 

June 30: Barricades at Seattle’s cop-free zone are torn down as protesters replace concrete barriers with trash cans and couches

New footage from inside the Capitol Hill Organized Protest (CHOP) zone had shown the chaotic scenes and the bullet ridden vehicle in the immediate aftermath of the shoot out Monday. 

Those inside CHOP said they started shooting at the Jeep only after two teens opened fire on them and drove into a barricade. 

Witnesses had said the car had driven at speed through the zone. Medic Jackson said he recognized the two boys as youngsters who had been around the CHOP zone in the days prior to the shooting. 

A second video showed people running through barricaded streets past tents. One person confirms there are people wounded in the zone as others shout out.

Neither victim has been named and no suspects are in custody. Police say the crime scene ‘had been disturbed’ and had pledged ‘enough is enough’.  

Local reports say one of the boys in the jeep was bundled into a car and driven to a nearby ambulance. Medics say they drove away after they ‘encountered a Nissan Pathfinder driving erratically towards them with someone riding on top of the vehicle’. 

A Seattle Fire Department spokesperson said they viewed the car as a ‘threat’, adding: ‘The crew was unaware during this time that this vehicle was carrying a patient.’ 

One unnamed protester told The Seattle Times: ‘I saw two young men lying on the ground. They were covered in blood. I had never seen anything like that.’

Another added: ‘We need to defend ourselves.’ 

But Seattle police Chief Carmen Best said: ‘I’m not going to let the detractors and the naysayers and the agitators be the ones that are the voice here.’ 

‘It is abundantly clear to our detectives people had been in and out of the car after the shooting. We’re not sure who shot at the car or why they shot at the car’, police chief Best added. 

‘Detectives searched the Jeep for evidence, but it was clear the crime scene had been disturbed,’ police said in a statement. 

Council member Kshama Sawant said: ‘Violence was happening on Capitol Hill and in other parts of the city long before the CHOP occupation was created by the movement and we should completely reject the false claims — claims that have no basis in statistical analysis — that the CHOP occupation and the movement was the reason for any of the violence.’

Records show homicides had occurred in the neighborhood in 2020 until Lorenzo Anderson, 19, was shot on the protest area on June 20. 

His father, Horace Lorenzo Anderson, said: ‘This doesn’t look like a protest to me no more. That just looks like they just took over and said we can take over whenever we want to.’ 

City workers take tentative steps to encourage people to leave the Cal Anderson park

Protesters stand on barricades a block away as Seattle Department of Transportation workers remove other barricades at the intersection of 10th Ave. and Pine St., Tuesday

The apparent move to dismantle the area follows the shooting death of the unidentified 16-year-old boy in the early hours of Monday morning. A 14-year-old was also critically injured when eyewitnesses say armed security inside the zone fired 300 rounds

Protesters move items in place to block the street after Seattle Department of Transportation workers removed concrete barricades Tuesday 

A protester moves a recycling container next to a sign listing demands after Seattle Department of Transportation workers removed concrete barricades

Police said they are investigating after a man was killed and a 14-year-old boy wounded following a shooting at Seattle’s CHOP zone on Monday morning

Witnesses told 911 dispatchers that they saw several unidentified people firing shots into the vehicle, police say. The blood-soaked and bullet-ridden jeep remained at the scene Monday morning

Records show homicides had occurred in the neighborhood in 2020 until Lorenzo Anderson, 19, was shot on the protest area on June 20

Witnesses had reported seeing a white Jeep SUV near one of the makeshift barriers around the protest zone about 3 a.m. Monday, just before the shooting

Those inside the zone say CHOP security guards, who are self-appointed and heavily armed, started shooting at the Jeep only after the teens opened fire on them and drove into a barricade.  

A female CHOP protester could be heard screaming for their self-appointed security to have their ‘eyes up’ because there were ‘two people with guns’ in a ‘stolen white Jeep’.

When the Jeep came around the corner moments later, at least three loud gunshots could be heard before the teens crashed into the barricade. About a dozen shots were fired after the car crashed. It is not clear from the footage who the first gunshots came from.

A male could be heard in the surveillance screaming: ‘Get on the ground’, ‘Oh you’re not dead huh?’ and ‘You want to get pistol-whipped?’   

Witnesses had reported seeing a white Jeep SUV near one of the makeshift barriers around the protest zone about 3 a.m. Monday, just before the shooting, a police statement said.

Callers to 911 said several people fired shots into the vehicle. Police said that two people who were probably the occupants of the vehicle were transported to a local hospital.

The 16-year-old was pronounced dead at Harborview Medical Center, police said. The second victim, a 14-year-old boy, was hospitalized with gunshot injuries. He was reported in critical condition. 

It is the second deadly shooting in the area that local officials have vowed to change after business complaints and criticism from President Donald Trump.     

The violence that came just over a week after another shooting in the zone left one person dead and another wounded was ‘dangerous and unacceptable’ police Chief Carmen Best said.

‘Enough is enough,’ Best told reporters. ‘We need to be able to get back into the area.’

Police Chief Carmen Best said detectives had searched the jeep but it was clear people had gone into the vehicle before police could investigate

The Seattle ‘zone’, which includes apartment buildings and businesses, also contains the Seattle Police Department’s East Precinct, which cops abandoned after receiving a threat that the station would be overrun and burned down

Demonstrators have occupied several blocks around the Seattle Police Department’s East Precinct and a park for about two weeks. 

Police abandoned the precinct following standoffs and clashes with protesters calling for racial justice and an end to police brutality.   

Best said the shootings are obscuring the message of racial justice that protesters say they are promoting.

‘Two African American men are dead, at a place where they claim to be working for Black Lives Matter. But they’re gone, they’re dead now,’ the police chief said. 

Demonstrators have occupied several blocks around the Seattle Police Department’s East Precinct and a park for about two weeks. Police abandoned the precinct following standoffs and clashes with protesters calling for racial justice and an end to police brutality

A person stands on a corner in the area known as the Capitol Hill Organized Protest (CHOP) on Monday. Four shootings in less than two weeks have taken place in the vicinity

Nearby businesses and property owners filed a federal lawsuit against the city last Wednesday, claiming officials have been too tolerant of those who created the zone and that officials have deprived property owners of their property rights by allowing the zone to continue existing.

The business owners said they were not trying to undermine the protesters’ anti-police-brutality and Black Lives Matter messages.

But the owners said they have suffered because the creation of the zone has limited their access to their businesses and that some owners trying clean graffiti from their storefronts or attempting to photograph protesters have been threatened.

A second lawsuit was filed by attorney Jacob Bozeman Monday. He said: ‘To abdicate the authority to an unelected, unauthorized and armed group of people to decide who can come and go, who can be searched and seized, and under what portions of the city you can come and go from, for fear of physical retaliation against you, is unconstitutional.’

Trump has repeatedly criticized the Seattle protest area, as well as city and state leaders. He tweeted Monday morning that the protesters ‘have ZERO respect for Government.’

Some demonstrators in the occupied zone say the demonstration isn’t the reason for the shootings.

‘The bloodshed you’re talking about has nothing to do with the movement,’ Antwan Bolar, 43, told The Seattle Times. ‘That’s people who would have been doing it in North Seattle or South Seattle anyways — it’s just concentrated here.’

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