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Mayor Durkan Issues Emergency Order Regarding Capitol Hill Protest Zone

The Mayor issued a Proclamation of Civil Emergency regarding the East Precinct and Cal Anderson Park area today.  The order declared the gathering in this area as an “unlawful assembly” requiring immediate action from city agencies, including the Seattle Police Department. 

Statement from Chief Carmen Best:  

Today, Mayor  Jenny  Durkan issued a  48-hour  public safety  emergency  order  to vacate the East Precinct/Cal Anderson area.  Seattle police will be in the area this morning enforcing the  Mayor’s  order.   

This order, and our police response, comes after weeks of violence in and around the Capitol Hill Occupied Protest zone, including four shootings, resulting in multiple injuries and the deaths of two teenagers.   

As I have said, and I will say again, I support peaceful demonstrations. Black Lives Matter, and I too want to help propel this movement toward meaningful change in our community.  

But enough is enough.   

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. This is not an end to our department’s engagement with demonstrators. We must continue our efforts to build trust and redefine our roles as guardians in our city. I will continue to work with the Community Police Commission, the Office of Police Accountability, the Inspector General, the Mayor, the Seattle City Council and ALL of our community and social justice partners in the coming weeks to encourage peace and to begin meaningful dialog about reenvisioning public safety in our community. 

Today, the public will see an SPD operational response in the East Precinct and Cal Anderson Park. Officers will be donning a variety of uniforms, based on their assignment for the day.  Some will be wearing a higher level of protective gear. This equipment not meant to be a preemptive show of force. Police are utilizing this equipment because individuals associated with the CHOP area are known to be armed and dangerous, and who may be associated with active shootings, homicides, robberies, assaults, and other violent crimes.

The following video contains several open source media recordings of several violent events and numerous armed individuals in the CHOP. 

This post will be updated with more information as it becomes available.