While Republican lawmakers continue to promote the rule of law in response to recent nationwide unrest, Democratic lawmakers in Seattle are taking the opposite approach. One week ago, a group of protestors seized 6 blocks of the area surround Seattle’s Capitol Hill and established the Capitol Hill Autonomous Zone (CHAZ) or Capitol Hill Organized Protest (CHOP). Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkin has taken a hands off approach to the takeover, even going so far as abandoning the Seattle Police’s East Precinct against the wishes of Police Chief Carmen Best.
Chief Best told the media this weekend:
Ultimately, the city had other plans for the building and relented to severe public pressure. I’m angry about how this all came about. . . We had solid information to believe that anti-government groups would destroy the precinct once we left through vandalism or arson.
Anecdotally, local law enforcement has heard reports of “occupiers” trying to extort business owners to continue operating. Residents have even reported being ordered to show identification to enter their own property.
Residents of the area feel like they have been abandoned by their predominantly Democratic elected officials:
I spoke to a resident of Capitol Hill, the area of Seattle that is now CHAZ.— Shelby Talcott (@ShelbyTalcott) June 14, 2020
He was terrified & told me that the very lawmakers he supported and elected have abandoned him.
“This is personal, because this is my home & I don’t have cops anymore.”
VIDEO: https://t.co/WnaKWXmGTl pic.twitter.com/MJdAhSYRX0
Outlets like CNN have provided conflicting reports to the public about the state of CHAZ/CHOP. it is clear that the protestors are putting the well-being and safety of the residents at risk with their activities. Response time to 911 calls from the area has tripled as law enforcement is being barred.
The head of the Seattle Police Officers Guild told Fox News’ Neil Cavuto on Saturday:
It's quite clear that City of Seattle elected officials are lacking the political will to enforce the rule of law. And this is the closest I've seen since being a 20-year professional in public safety service of our country becoming a lawless state. . . that have taken and basically stolen the George Floyd protest message are now using it to benefit themselves and holding the rest of the reasonable citizens of Seattle hostage. It's absolutely unacceptable.
Democratic officials need to be held accountable for putting the safety of their constituents at risk.