On Wednesday morning the Seattle Police Department released a statement revealing its intention to reoccupy the Capitol Hill Autonomous Zone or Capitol Hill Occupied Zone, a 6 block section of downtown Seattle that was occupied by anarchists for 22 days following Black Lives Matter protests in the area.
At 5 a.m., the Seattle Police Department posted an executive order signed by Mayor Jenny Durkan returning power to the police to recapture their occupied precinct building and evict those living in CHAZ/CHOP.
“Due to ongoing violence and public safety issues in the East Precinct/Cal Anderson Park Area,” the department wrote on Twitter. “Mayor Jenny Durkan has issued an executive order to vacate the area.”
Due to ongoing violence and public safety issues in the East Precinct/Cal Anderson Park area. Mayor Jenny Durkan has issued an executive order to vacate the area. Seattle police will be in the area this morning enforcing the Mayor’s order. https://t.co/SpVRYIB8eg pic.twitter.com/JAt2AvUTCr
— Seattle Police Dept. (@SeattlePD) July 1, 2020
KOMO News reported with footage of the events, saying that police quickly moved in at 5 a.m., first entering the East Precinct police building, then cleared out the few people remaining in the park and surrounding area, arresting at least 13 people in the process.
The Seattle Department of Human Services promised to keep the belongings of the residents of the autonomous zone, who were ordered to quickly vacate the premises without time to remove belongings from the community that mostly lived in tents.
Seattle Police are clearing the CHOP area after Mayor Jenny Durkan gives an executive order. UPDATES: https://komonews.com/news/local/seattle-police-clearing-chop-area-after-durkan-issues-executive-order
Posted by KOMO News on Wednesday, July 1, 2020
CHAZ/CHOP has become a hotbed of violence in recent days, with multiple murders rocking the autonomous zone.
The most recent shooting happened on June 29, and two people were reportedly injured by the CHOP security force, at times armed by a man named Solomon “Raz” Simone, who was called the warlord of the autonomous zone.
Officers investigating a shooting near 12 Ave/Pike Street. Reports of two people injured. More information when available.
— Seattle Police Dept. (@SeattlePD) June 29, 2020
CHAZ/CHOP residents had previously pledged not to leave the autonomous zone until the Seattle police and the local prison system were completely defunded and abolished.
The autonomous zone was founded on June 8, as police were ordered by government officials to leave the precinct after several days of sustained clashes between protesters and police following the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis police custody.
This is a breaking news story and may be updated as more information becomes available.