Seattle residents said Sunday that despite rumors that the city was going to reclaim the “occupied” area known as CHOP, little has changed on the ground and the “security” at the protest zone has actually gotten more “contentious” with residents who live nearby.
“They won’t let people in the neighborhood sometimes at night,” Matthew Ploszaj, who lives there, told KOMO News. He told the station that he supports the Black Lives Matter movement, but said it is a “terrible precedent” that “any political message can come in and occupy a neighborhood.”
Mayor Jenny Durkan said last week that the city is working with the community to bring the “Capitol Hill Occupied Protest” zone to an end and that police soon would move back into a precinct building they had largely abandoned in the area.
Durkan also vowed to address some of the protesters’ demands, including investing more in Black communities, reimagining policing in cooperation with community leaders, and pushing for accountability measures and statewide reform of police unions.
The KOMO report indicated that any city action would be a Herculean task. Some entrances there have been fortified with rebar and about 70 concrete barriers.
Michael Solan, Seattle Police Officers Guild president, told Fox News on Saturday that business owners and residents there are effectively being held hostage.
“There were some city entities, as far as heads, that went into the area yesterday to try to remove some of the boundary areas — as far as blockades — and they were met with resistance. Armed people flocked into the area and prevented those city entities, those agencies to get the job done,” he told “Cavuto LIVE.” “So no, this has not been solved. It’s deeply troubling still.”
The Seattle Times reported that hundreds of protesters marched Sunday to Durkan’s believed home in order to bring their demands to her “doorstep.”
The paper said protesters there rejected her proposal to cut the police budget by $20 million. They said the figure was too low. The protesters said they were honoring a black woman, Charleena Lyles, 30, who was killed by police in 2017 in the city. The paper said it was a peaceful gathering. Durkan was at city hall during the protest, the paper reported.
Jacob Bozeman, a Washington attorney, recently filed a suit against Durkan and Washington Gov. Jay Inslee, both Democrats, over CHOP. Roughly 30 people have reached out to him to either thank him or ask to join the lawsuit, he said.
“I can’t understand how anybody could say the mayor and the governor of the state should abdicate their enforcement authority … to just give that up to an armed group of people who aren’t elected.”
Fox News’ Julia Musto, Fox Business’ Evie Fordham and the Associated Press contributed to this report