Seattle’s police union chief begged the city for “leadership” in the wake of a fatal shooting inside the city’s “autonomous zone” known as “CHOP” or “Capitol Hill Occupied Protest,” and laid into the city’s mayor for ignoring the threat posed by the blocks-wide anarchist demonstration.
The Seattle Times reported Saturday that one person was killed and another injured in an early morning shooting that followed a vocal disagreement among protesters.
“Seattle police homicide and assault detectives are investigating an early morning shooting in the Capitol Hill protest zone known as CHOP that left one person dead and another in critical condition,” the outlet reported. ‘Seattle police said a 19-year-old man was pronounced dead at Harborview Medical Center. A second man suffered life-threatening injuries. Police have not identified the victims.”
Seattle police were actively prevented from attending to the victim or investigating the crime. After responding to calls of a shooting inside CHOP, officers “were met by a violent crowd that prevented officers safe access to the victims.”
Police body camera footage, the Seattle Times says, “shows a phalanx of armed officers, weapons drawn, being yelled at by protesters, many using profanities and several coming right up to the marching officers, as an officer using a bullhorn says, ‘Please move out of the way so we can get to the victim! All we want to do is get to the victim!'”
Over the past week, longtime residents of what is now the CHOP warned the city that, while the area had a party atmosphere during the day, that things often took a violent turn after dark.
Seattle Police Officers Guild President Michael Solan addressed the shooting on Fox News on Saturday, blasting the city’s mayor for calling CHOP a “block party” and a “summer of love” while ignoring the threat CHOP’s “residents” pose to locals.
“Early this morning, that violence was raw and real where one of our community members lost their life, and police are still not allowed into that area and were prevented from providing that police service to the area to locate victors and/or render aid. [It’s] very troubling what’s going on,” Solan said.
“It can’t stand in America, and this is a direct result of city leadership, elected officials failing the reasonable community of Seattle to enforce the rule of law,” he continued. “And, this just isn’t the area occupied in a six-block zone where police are still forbidden and still don’t have their East precinct. This is now impacting our entire city.”
CHOP residents, for their part, defended their anti-police stance, instead, blaming the police for the shooting death, per Fox Business.
“Last night’s shooting should redirect us to the task at hand – to defend Black lives by dismantling the Seattle Police Department and investing in real community safety,” the group’s leadership said in a statement.
The group’s de facto leader, SoundCloud rapper Raz Simone seemed not to grasp the full meaning of a “police free zone,” taking to Twitter to lambaste emergency medical personnel who were unable to get past a screaming crowd of CHOP residents to attend to the gunshot victims.
“Medics refused to help even after people in the CHOP begged,” the rapper wrote on Twitter, according to Twitchy. ‘They let our bro bleed out for 30 minutes until he died.”
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