Seattle police are investigating yet another violent incident in the protest zone informally known as ‘CHAZ’.
On Monday, two individuals where shot before arriving at a nearby hospital between 3:15am and 3:30am. One unfortunately died of his injuries.
CHAZ, which is sometimes referred to as “CHOP” by the residents there, claims to be politically independent from the United States of America. the zone was formed as part of a nationwide wave of demonstrations linked to the Black Lives Matter movement, which protested the police killing of George Floyd.
Now, it looks as though many activists have moved on from a simple political demonstration, and are trying to make protest a full-time way of life. Unfortunately, this doesn’t bode well when law enforcement actually have a job to do. Police have went on record to state that protesters deny them entry into the “occupied zone.”
Over the weekend, Police Chief Carmen Best said, “Rapes, robberies and all sorts of violent acts have been occurring in the area and we’re not able to get to [them].” This was tweeted by journalist Andy Ngo who was brutally beaten by Antifa last year.
Best continued, “Calls for service have more than tripled. These are responses to emergency calls — rapes, robberies, and all sorts of violent acts that have been taking place in the area that we’re not able to get to.”
That was on June the 12th. Since then, the violence has escalated to levels that are rarely seen outside the worst neighborhoods in Chicago. By Monday the 22nd, the second known shooting left one in critical condition. The victim arrived at the Harborview Medical Center via a private vehicle in critical condition.
This second shooting took place over the weekend following the shooting of a 19-year-old man who was killed at the scene and a 33-year-old man who was critically injured. The suspects in the first shooting fled the scene and there have been no arrests.
The exact locations of these shootings remain unclear. First responders are reluctant to enter the CHOP zone and have to stage preparations for their actions on the perimeter of the zone.
Exactly why police are respecting the borders of CHOP is a question that remains to be satisfactorily answered.
On Saturday, the Seattle police dept. issued a statement saying, “This is inside the area referred to as the Capitol Hill Organized Protest. Officers attempted to locate a shooting victim but were met by a violent crowd that prevented officers’ safe access to the victims.”
At the scene of the response, police directed “protesters” to move away so that they could reach the victim/s. To this, the crowd responded with demands that police first relinquish their weapons.
Naturally, the police did not set down their weapons and the crowd did not disperse.
Scenes like this are increasingly common as these demonstrations continue across the country. The most dangerous factor in all of this is the fact that police are being directed by mayors, magistrates, and judges to respect the zones that have been taken by occupiers.
Featured Image by Alex Glidewell