- The Washington Times
Monday, June 29, 2020

Seattle Police Department Chief Carmen Best has had it with deadly violence within the “Capitol Hill Organized Protest” (CHOP) zone.

Witnesses aren’t cooperating with detectives in CHOP — formerly called the Capital Hill Autonomous Zone (CHAZ) — after two people were shot inside a jeep on Sunday. 

A 16-year-old who was transported to Harborview Medical Center after the shooting died while a 14-year-old remains in critical condition, a local NBC affiliate reported.

Ms. Best spoke to reporters about the challenges law enforcement face in CHOP — four shootings in the area within nine days.

“Detectives are trying to get information from witnesses, but as has been the case in other crime scenes up in this area, people are not being cooperative with our request for help,” Ms. Best said Monday. “[Activists] can’t hostilely take over a neighborhood and cause the crime levels to go up like this. Two men are dead … and a child, a 14-year-old, is hospitalized and we don’t know what is going to happen to that kid. Enough is enough, here.” 

The situation, supported by Mayor Jenny Durkan for weeks, also prompted a class-action lawsuit by local businesses for “Seattle’s unprecedented decision to abandon and close off an entire city neighborhood, leaving it unchecked by the police, unserved by fire and emergency health services, and inaccessible to the public at large.” 

A local NBC affiliate noted that CHOP was supposed to be dissolved in the near future, although “although a timeline wasn’t provided.”

“I’m not going to let the detractors and the naysayers and the agitators be the ones with the voice here,” Ms. Best continued as someone shouted in the background. “There are people who live here. There are multiple people who are being injured and hurt and we need to do something about it. It is absolutely irresponsible for this to continue. … This is not an acceptable situation.”

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