"Enough is enough," Seattle Police Chief Carmen Best said as the city's mayor, Jenny Durkan, issued an executive order mandating all protesters leave the Capitol Hill Occupied Protest Zone (CHOP). On Wednesday (July 1) morning, police officers moved in and told the protesters they had less than ten minutes to pack up and leave.
The decision was made following a series of shootings within the protest zone. Those shootings left two teenagers and three people with serious injuries.
"The CHOP has become lawless and brutal," Best said in a statement. "Four shootings – two fatal – robberies, assaults, violence, and countless property crimes have occurred in this several block area."
The officers faced little resistance, and most of the protesters had left by the time the sun came up. Police have arrested 13 people who refused to leave. Authorities were also seen using pepper spray on some of the protesters.
Best said that the police department and city officials will still work with the protesters moving forward.
"This is not an end to our department's engagement with demonstrators. We must continue our efforts to build trust and redefine our roles as guardians in our city. I will continue to work with the Community Police Commission, the Office of Police Accountability, the Inspector General, the Mayor, the Seattle City Council and ALL of our community and social justice partners in the coming weeks to encourage peace and to begin meaningful dialog about re-envisioning public safety in our community," Best stated.
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