[guest post by Dana]
What it took for Seattle’s Mayor Durkan to finally take action in Seattle’s hot spot:
Early Saturday, one man was killed and another person was critically wounded in a shooting at 10th and Pine. 19-year-old Renton High student Lorenzo Anderson died in an incident that has become a flashpoint of controversy with police restricting their presence in the area following the emptying of the East Precinct headquarters and Seattle Fire’s limited abilities to respond without police presence…Despite the effort, Sunday night brought another shooting on the edge of Cal Anderson that sent a 17-year-old to the hospital…In addition to the weekend shootings, Seattle Police are also investigating a sex assault at the camp reported Thursday.
Better late than never, eh?
Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan says the Seattle Police Department needs to return to the East Precinct to be able to respond to calls from the community.
During a news conference Monday, the mayor said SPD will return to the precinct, peacefully and in the near future.
“We have to make sure that any resident, any business, or any visitor that calls for help gets the help they need,” Durkan said.
As for the CHOP, Durkan said it wouldn’t be wise for police officers to clear out the area. Instead, the city is working with community leaders and organizers to help reduce the number of people in the area and clean up the streets, buildings, and remove barriers.
Durkan recognized that the majority of people in the CHOP are peaceful and spreading an important message, but said the situation is very different at night. The circumstances are also increasingly difficult for businesses and residents, she added.
The mayor believes individuals and organizations can continue to gather peacefully in Capitol Hill and elsewhere in the city, but the disorder and the impact of violence in Capitol Hill is at odds with the message of justice and equity.
Police Chief Best listed off the criminal acts repotedly happening inside the CHOP:
The chief said several criminal acts have been reported in the days since her officers left the precinct building. She said the incidents included shootings, rape, assaults, burglary and property destruction.
“I’m not making this up,” Best said. “These things happened. Our officers need to get back into the East Precinct.”
At Saturday’s Tulsa rally, Trump singled out Seattle:
“But how about Seattle?” Trump asked, with the crowd responding by booing the city.
“So, they take over a big chunk of a city called Seattle. We are not talking about some little place. We’re talking about Seattle. Have you ever been to Seattle?” Trump said. “They took over a big chunk. And the governor who is radical left — all of these places I talk about are Democrat. You know that. Every one of them.”
Trump said he offered assistance in the matter but was turned down and appeared to dismiss the situation.
“Any time you want, we’ll come in. We’ll straighten it out in one hour or less. Now I may be wrong, but it’s probably better for us to just to watch that disaster,” Trump said. The president went on to say he asked lawmakers about the situation and that they encouraged him to not act.
“Congressman, what do you think? I can straighten it out fast. Can we just go in?” Trump said. “‘No, sir, let it simmer for a little while. Let people see what radical-left Democrats will do to our country.’”
And speaking of “autonomous zones,” Trump warned this morning that it’s not an option in D.C.:
There will never be an “Autonomous Zone” in Washington, D.C., as long as I’m your President. If they try they will be met with serious force!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) June 23, 2020