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Seattle to dismantle protest zone after shootings

Video credit: Reuters Studio
Published 3 weeks ago - Duration: 01:35s

Seattle to dismantle protest zone after shootings

Demonstrators took over a six-block swath of the city, dubbed the Capitol Hill Organized Protest zone, in early June after cops withdrew from a precinct amid demonstrations against police brutality.

This report produced by Zachary Goelman.

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Seattle to dismantle protest zone after shootings

Seattle authorities say they will begin dismantling a six-block protest zone occupied by activists opposing police brutality.

Mayor Jenny Durkan on Monday said it was time to "wind down" the area activists called "Capitol Hill Organized Protest" zone, or CHOP, saying the city was spurred to act after the scene saw two shootings - one of them fatal - over the weekend.

"While we believe individuals, organizations and others can continue to gather on Capitol Hill peacefully, the continued disorder, the violence and the impacts on residents and businesses are not just at odds with a message of justice and equity - they cannot continue to occur.

We are working with the community to bring this to an end." Protesters established what they called an autonomous zone on June 8 after the Seattle Police Department (SPD) evacuated its East Precinct station, the site of sometimes violent clashes with demonstrators.

Activists have since set up tents and hosted sit-ins and speeches focused on social justice.

U.S. President Donald Trump has said the demonstrations in the Seattle protest zone are being run by "anarchists." Seattleโ€™s police and fire chiefs have voiced concerns that by blocking roads the protesters have prohibited first responders from doing their jobs in the area.

Police said a shooting on Saturday inside the CHOP zone left a teenager dead and another person wounded.

Durkin said the city was working with CHOP leaders to move forward.

Last week city crews reopened part of the zone to traffic in cooperation with activists.

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