Last Updated on June 25, 2020
More than a dozen business owners have sued the city of Seattle for allowing the creation of the CHAZ/CHOP area and the rampant crime that followed.
The lawsuit against the city of Seattle follows the creation of the Capitol Hill Autonomous Zone/Organised Protest (CHAZ/CHOP) in their neighbourhood, the withdrawal of the police, and the violent crime that ended up occurring as a result.
According to Seattle PD, 911 calls for sexual assault, robberies and violent crime more than tripled since police abandoned the area and left residents to fend for themselves. Costumed, non-binary “superheroes” took over law enforcement and community protection, but fled the scene when two men were shot, with one fatality, on Saturday.
Despite some leftist media outlets claiming that “local businesses love the domestic terror zone actually,” the class-action lawsuit was filed on Wednesday.
DEVELOPING: More than a dozen businesses inside CHOP zone, on Seattle's Capitol Hill, file 56-page class action lawsuit against the City of Seattle. They're seeking unspecified damages, to be determined at trial. pic.twitter.com/RPlsW3DuNv
— Preston Phillips (@PrestonTVNews) June 25, 2020
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“This lawsuit does not seek to undermine CHOP participants’ message or present a counter-message,” the lawsuit reads. “Rather, this lawsuit is about the constitutional and other legal rights of Plaintiffs … which have been overrun by the City of 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.”
The plaintiffs, which include a wine company, a body repair shop, and a locksmith, put the blame on the Seattle administration for allowing CHAZ/CHOP to flourish in the way that it has, such as by providing stronger barriers for their border, medical supplies, and public restrooms.
A spokesman for the Seattle mayor’s office told the Seattle Times that they are determining “a path forward that protects the right to peacefully protest and keeps people safe.”
Recognizing that solutions do not always require police, on the recommendation of community organizations … the City has stood-up a resource hub at Seattle Central College to provide services for individuals who may be living onsite or who visit the site daily, including mental and behavioral health, access to shelter/housing, testing and other essential needs. Over the coming days, City and community organizations will continue to work with individuals to encourage them to peacefully depart in the evening for their safety and the safety of the surrounding community, while also encouraging individuals to peacefully demonstrate across the City throughout the daytime hours.
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The city of Seattle may also have another lawsuit on their way following this one. The surviving man from the shooting on Saturday now says he wants to sue the police department for not responding to his case fast enough.
Seattle has until Friday to respond to the lawsuit before the plaintiffs file for injuctive relief. A spokesman for the City Attorney’s office said that they haven’t received it yet, but will “review it and respond accordingly” when they do.