Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan announced Monday that CHOP will come to an end


The highly controversial area in one of Seattle’s most notable neighborhoods known as the Capitol Hill Organized Protest (CHOP), which was formerly known as the Capitol Hill Autonomous Zone (CHAZ), will be coming to an end. Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan announced Monday that the Seattle Police Department will be returning to their currently-abandoned East Precinct building, located at the center of CHOP. The city is attempting to limit nighttime activity in the area, but the police department will have no presence, rather, the city will be asking protestors to leave the area voluntarily. Additionally, resources will be offered to homeless individuals in the area, with support from local Seattle organizations. Durkan said that the effect of CHOP on the local community and economy has been “too much,” and that “it is time for [Seattle] to restore Cal Anderson [Park] and Capitol Hill so it can be a vibrant part of the community” (Seattle Times). ~

Durkan’s announcement early Monday morning comes after a wave of violence hit the area over the weekend. Despite the city’s efforts of adding new barriers, significantly decreasing CHOP’s boundaries, three individuals were shot, and 19 year old Horace Lorenzo Anderson died as a result of his injuries. Police responded to the 911 call made late Saturday night, but officers said they were met by “extremely hostile” crowds. Later reports show that Anderson had been shuttled to Harborview Medical Center in a private vehicle. ~

Decisions around CHOP have been at the forefront of the Seattle City Council’s focus for the past few weeks. However, Councilmember Kshama Sawant believes that it is not Mayor Durkan’s decisions that will make change in CHOP, but rather “the movement’s”. Seattle Police Chief Carmen Best, however, said, “This is not about politics, and I’m not a politician. This is a debate about life or death. [We] cannot stand by… and watch another black man, or anyone really, die in our streets while people aggressively thwart the efforts of police and other first responders from rescuing them.” While the future of CHOP is unclear, Seattle continues to experience turmoil and debates around this controversial area. ~

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