UPDATED 12:55 PM PT — Wednesday, July 1, 2020
Seattle police arrested 31 people as they began clearing out the city’s former “autonomous zone” this week. Authorities moved into the “CHOP” zone after the mayor’s emergency order took effect early on Wednesday morning, which directed all residents to vacate the area.
In a statement, Seattle Police Chief Carmen Best said “the CHOP has become lawless and brutal.” Her remarks referenced the rise in violent crime in the area since protesters took over, including two fatal shootings.
Some Seattle residents have voiced their support for Mayor Jenny Durkan’s order.
“People were in their tents and they were sleeping. I’ve seen them actually dragging people out of their tents and whatnot. It’s crazy to me, because people were actually being here peacefully. But obviously we understand why they (police) are here, because of the violence, so we knew it was coming. Mayor Jenny had to do something.” – Unnamed witness
The emergency order will remain in effect for 48 hours.
The city’s police chief has voiced her support for peaceful protests and the Black Lives Matter movement, but added “enough is enough.”