Ayyyeee… What’s Goodie Everyone. So I got some tea and it involves the city of Seattle, The Protest and Police.
According to The Washington Post; The Seattle police moved to clear a protest zone early Wednesday morning that had drawn national attention and has been marred by multiple shootings, including one that killed a teenager early this week.
Police took action after Mayor Jenny Durkan (D) issued an executive order calling for the area to be vacated, aiming to end the weeks long occupation around a police precinct. Officers made dozens of arrests as they carried out her directive, they said, and warned that anyone who remained in the area or returned could be taken into custody.
The occupation drew so much attention and repeatedly been highlighted on cable news, and President Trump has tweeted about it, decrying both the demonstrators and the local and state leaders responding to them. Activists have said that media coverage has focused only on the violence, rather than the calmer aspects that included documentary screenings and concerts.
Seattle Police Chief Carmen Best said in a statement early Wednesday saying that she supports peaceful protests and would continue her department’s work to engage with activists.
“But enough is enough,” Best said in a statement. “The CHOP has become lawless and brutal. Four shootings two fatal robberies, assaults, violence and countless property crimes have occurred in this several block area. My job, and the job of our officers, is to protect and serve our community.”
Police officials headed into the zone early Wednesday wearing protective gear, which the department said was due to people involved in the area “known to be armed and dangerous.”
Police Officers had made 31 arrests Wednesday morning, police said, describing the cases as involving failing to disperse, resisting arrest, obstruction and assault. One man, had a pipe and knife on him when he was arrested.
Officers stood lining the area’s perimeter and had bicyles blocking the roadway in the hours after they first made their approach. A small crowd of maybe two dozen people remained in the area by mid morning, some protesting and some appearing to just watch the scene.
Mayor Jenny Durkan’s order described ways she said the city had facilitated demonstrations including by modifying streets and access routes for pedestrians and allowing obstructions of public streets and sidewalks but also said conditions had worsened, describing other shootings, “numerous reports of narcotics use and violent crime” and damage to property in the area.
In her order, Durkan said that everyone “unlawfully occupying” the space must be ordered to leave and can be arrested if they do not comply.
She directed transportation officials to remove barriers in the area, parks and recreation officials to begin cleaning and other city officials to assess any property damage and power issues.