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Updates on protests and demonstrations in the Seattle area (June 22-28)

This post is archived. For the latest, read here.

Demonstrations and protests for racial justice continue in Western Washington.

  • After Seattle police retreated from the East Precinct, leaving it empty and boarded up, protesters began blocking off an area around it on Capitol Hill, first naming it CHAZ (Capitol Hill Autonomous Zone), and then renaming it CHOP (Capitol Hill Organized Protest).
  • The rallying cry has been to defund the police. Here's what that means.
  • Over the weekend of June 20-21, there were two shootings in or near the CHOP resulting in one death, one man hospitalized, and 17-year-old boy treated for a gunshot wound. Shortly before 5 a.m. on Tuesday, June 23, another shooting occurred, sending another victim to the hospital -- he was treated for non-life threatening injuries.


Shooting leaves one dead, one injured in CHOP

6:25 p.m. -- One man is dead and another in critical condition after a shooting early Monday morning in Capitol Hill Organized Protest Zone.

This at least the fourth shooting in or near CHOP since Saturday, June 20.

A spokesperson for Harborview Medical Center’s Emergency Department said a private vehicle brought in the first person arrived about 3:15 a.m., Seattle Fire Department medics brought in the second about 3:30 p.m.

Video streamed by Omari Salisbury on Twitter and Facebook showed a Jeep SUV smashed into a cement barrier.

Police said the shooting was reported near 12th Avenue and Pike Street.

Bullet holes were visible in the windshield, and the passenger side window was smashed out.

Bystanders told Salisbury that two people inside had been shot.

It was unclear how the shooting unfolded.

-- Angela King and Gil Aegerter


Protesters rally in Magnuson Park, march to confront Mayor Durkan

7:50 p.m. -- Hundreds of protesters gathered for a rally in Magnuson Park ahead of a march planned to culminate at the residence of Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan. Organizers say they intend to confront the mayor and reiterate three key demands driving local demonstrations:

  • Cut funding for the Seattle Police Department by 50%
  • Redirect that funding toward support services for Black and brown communities
  • Release all protesters taken into custody without filing charges
caption: Demonstrators gather for a rally in Magnuson Park ahead of a march to confront Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan at her residence on June 28, 2020.
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Demonstrators gather for a rally in Magnuson Park ahead of a march to confront Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan at her residence on June 28, 2020.
Credit: KUOW Photo / Liz Brazile

Sunday's demonstration comes less than a week after Durkan unveiled a proposed budget that would reduce the Seattle Police's funding by $20 million — or 5% of the department's $409 million budget — through the rest of 2020. Durkan last week also directed city staff to produce models illustrating what 20%, 30%, and 50% cuts to the department could look like.

Activist and former City Council candidate Shaun Scott pointed to the killing of Charleena Lyles by Seattle Police officers in 2017, despite the department being under federal oversight since 2012.

"So people have to understand that everything that we're seeing from the police department is them on their best behavior," Scott said, adding that the department "is long past the point of being reformed."

Scott went on to call for the abolishment of the department.

"Seattle Police Department is at this stage a radically unaccountable institution as it has been since its inception," he said. "So we don't want to be in a position where they're going to be able to exact revenge on protesters and continue on with this reign of terror that they've been propagating for the last 150 years in the city of Seattle."

At the time demonstrators descended on the mayor's home, a spokesperson said Durkan was meeting with Police Chief Carmen Best at City Hall.


SDOT responds to Friday morning standoff

2 p.m. -- The Seattle Department of Transportation has released a statement following a standoff with protesters in the CHOP Friday morning.

City staff from multiple departments initiated efforts early in the morning to continue the recovery of the Capitol Hill neighborhood, with the goal of removing some additional barriers blocking the roadways and cleaning up Cal Anderson Park. These efforts also include dispatching a wide range of social services to encourage those living overnight in Cal Anderson to begin leaving the area or, if experiencing homelessness, to take an offer for shelter. Many individuals have already departed the area to join in community led events across the City.

Once this work commenced to remove some of the barriers blocking roadways, City workers were met with significant resistance by protesters, who grew increasingly agitated and aggressive towards City workers from SPR, SDOT and SPU. Safety is the City’s first priority, and planning is ongoing for how to safely transition the Capitol Hill area.

The City has been deploying additional resources this week and on site every day. For any individuals who have been attending demonstrations and may need City resources, the Human Services Department and Public Health – Seattle & King County have been on Capitol Hill leading outreach efforts with service providers and established a Resource Hub to connect individuals with access to shelter, health care, food resources, access to COVID-19 testing, and mental and behavioral health services. Today, the departments will join BLMSKC Community Health Services Day, which includes free health and wellness resources and services for all community, organized by BLMSKC and partners, including Public Health Seattle King-County, Country Doctor, Odessa Brown, Carolyn Downs, Urban League of Metropolitan Seattle, Seattle Parks and Recreation, Seattle Human Services Department, and Mary’s Place.

SPD had no plans to return to the East Precinct today.

New CHOP group emerges

New activist group emerges in the CHOP to reclaim the protest

New activist group emerges in the CHOP to reclaim the protest

9:15 a.m. -- Mayor Jenny Durkan wants them gone and nearby businesses are suing over disruptions caused by the CHOP. But activists in Seattle say they are not leaving the Capitol Hill Organized Protest.

A new group has emerged in the CHOP, calling themselves the Black Collective Voice. On Thursday, they announced they’re reclaiming the protest get back on message of anti-racism.

“The truth is, even if they force activists out of CHOP, it will not stop us or this movement," said Naudia “Nas” Miller, one of the new leaders of the Black Collective Voice.

Miller says they want to promote more education in the CHOP and have people to show up to talk about race – not to party.

“We understand the burden that (nearby businesses) have felt and are feeling. Understand that as black people and indigenous people and people of color, we feel an intense burden every moment of our lives, that, you know, the burden of owning a business doesn't compare to.”

Miller says the organized protest will go on as long as activists keep showing up.

--Casey Martin

Grocery store workers demand employers support BLM

9 a.m. -- Seattle grocery store workers are demanding their employers make changes and support Black Lives Matter. Employees from Trader Joe’s on Capitol Hill and Whole Foods in Westlake spoke out Thursday.

Camille Tucker-Tolbert works in the prepared foods department of Whole Foods. She says she and her coworkers face discipline for wearing Black Lives Matter face masks at work.

A Whole Foods spokesperson confirmed the face masks did not meet dress code policy and said workers cannot work until they comply with the dress code.

Read more details here.

--Anna Boiko-Weyrauch

City and protesters agree to wait 72 hours to remove barriers

Standoff at the CHOP between protesters and city employees

Standoff at the CHOP between protesters and city employees

8:35 a.m. -- The standoff between city workers and protesters on Capitol Hill has ended for now.

Department of Transportation Director Sam Zimbabwe and other officials were out to try to get road barriers removed from around Cal Anderson Park and do outreach to people who may bewithout homes.

Protesters objected, saying they were woken up at 5:30 in the morning without notice. They repeated their demands of defunding the police, among other things by 50 percent.

But city officials had demands of their own: They wanted barriers removed from around the CHOP. They wanted barriers removed around the park, so emergency vehicles can get there to service people. And they wanted cars removed from the lid of the park's reservoir. Protesters said they didn't know the cars were a problem and said they were fine with removing them.

Protesters say the two sides agreed on waiting 72 hours so there could be discussions on which barriers might be removed.

-- Joshua McNichols

City tries to go into CHOP to remove road barriers, but is rebuffed

7:20 a.m. -- Seattle city workers have been out in the Capitol Hill Organized Protest zone this morning, trying to remove road barriers from streets around Cal Anderson Park.

But they met resistance from protesters, who demanded negotiations before any action was taken.

Citizen journalist Omari Salisbury has been live streaming from the scene. He's shown transportation director Sam Zimbabwe, Stephanie Formas from the mayor's office and Fire Chief Harold Scoggins talking to protesters.

In Salisbury's live stream, some protesters have said they will stop the city from removing barriers, but things have been peaceful.

And it looks like the city is backing down for now.

-- Joshua McNichols and Gil Aegerter

caption: Stephanie Formas from the mayor's office (center in light blue shirt and purple mask) speaks with protesters Friday morning in the CHOP while city workers were trying to remove road barriers.
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Stephanie Formas from the mayor's office (center in light blue shirt and purple mask) speaks with protesters Friday morning in the CHOP while city workers were trying to remove road barriers.
Credit: KUOW photo/Joshua McNichols
caption: The city of Seattle staged vehicles outside the CHOP Friday morning before an attempt to remove road barriers.
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The city of Seattle staged vehicles outside the CHOP Friday morning before an attempt to remove road barriers.
Credit: KUOW photo/Joshua McNichols


Infamous right wing brawler arrested after alleged assault near the CHOP

10 a.m. -- A Vancouver man associated with extreme right-wing groups and violent brawls at Portland protests has been arrested after allegedly assaulting a person near the CHOP in Seattle.

KOMO reports that Tusitala "Tiny" Toese was arrested in Oregon this week. Toese has become known for violent interactions in Portland, which had landed him in jail and court. He pleaded guilty for fourth degree assault and was released on parole in January. One condition of his release was that he had to check with his parole officer if he left Clark County.

But video of a Seattle assault near the CHOP this month appears to show Toese involved in a brawl, while taking and damaging a man's cell phone. Video of that fight can be seen here (warning: this video is of a violent incident).

Another condition was that he was barred from participating in demonstrations and protests in Multnomah County. Toese reportedly did not have permission to be in Seattle, or at Portland protests where he was also allegedly spotted recently.

--Dyer Oxley

Changes at the CHOP

9 a.m. -- Some organizers withing the Capitol Hill Organized Protest area want to see people pack up their tents from Cal Anderson Park and move to the sidewalks right around the now boarded up Seattle Police Department East Precinct.

Raz Simone, who's been active the demonstrations, told CNN Wednesday that he wants people focused on the precinct and not the whole neighborhood.

Business owners have complained about late night noise and recent gun violence that has injured three people and left one dead.

City and community organizations will continue to work with individuals to encourage them to peacefully depart in the evening for their safety and the safety of the surrounding community while also encouraging individuals to peacefully demonstrate across the city throughout the daytime hours.

--Angela King

Capitol Hill residents, businesses file lawsuit over CHOP

8:30 a.m. -- A group of Capitol Hill residents and business owners -- worried about the so-called CHOP -- has filed a lawsuit against the city of Seattle They say they've suffered harm and financial losses because of the ongoing demonstration that has taken over multiple city blocks.

They also say the city has actively endorsed and enabled the Organized Protest zone.

"I don't know that there's another example of this in modern history, that we're aware of, where a city has essentially ceded several city blocks to a loose band of people," said Angelo Calfo, one of the attorneys representing the plaintiffs in the lawsuit.

In addition to an unspecified amount in damages, the lawsuit seeks to bring the police back into the area and restore access to the surrounding streets.

Read more details here.

--Kate Walters

Council aims to cut 5% of SPD budget, and more

8 a.m. -- The Seattle Police Department could face a budget cut of 5% this year, and much steeper cuts in 2021.

Mayor Jenny Durkan has asked police and city staff to develop scenarios for cutting 20%, 30% and 50% of the SPD budget next year. She’s also allocated half a million dollars for community engagement on police funding. Seattle Councilmember Tammy Morales told budget staff Wednesday they should work with groups like Decriminalize Seattle to hear from the community.

“The community groups that are on the ground doing the work should be resourced to do that work because those are the voices we need to be hearing anyway.”

Read more details here.

--Amy Radil


No more police at Seattle schools

3 p.m. -- Seattle Public Schools will no longer have police on its campuses, according to The Seattle Times.

The school board voted Wednesday to nix the program that placed five officers in its schools. It also decided to only allow unarmed officers at special events.

The district also moved to create a Black studies curriculum.

--Dyer Oxley

Walking through the CHOP

1 p.m. --

--Juan Pablo-Chiquiza

Bellevue police begin making arrests for looting in May

9:30 a.m. -- Bellevue police have arrested 23 people suspected of vandalizing and breaking into several businesses in and around the Bellevue Square Mall last month.

The looting happened on May 31 when thousands were protesting the killing of George Floyd by Minneapolis police officers. The incidents happened alongside a peaceful protest in Bellevue, where Police Chief Steve Mylett was speaking with demonstrators.

Chief Mylett said detectives were able to identify the suspects through thousands of video clips sent in by the public. He also said they've identified at least 100 more people who will be questioned soon.

Read more details here.

--Angela King

AG looking into 30 deadly-force cases

9 a.m. -- The killing of Manuel Ellis by Tacoma police officers is prompting a statewide review of deadly-force cases. State Attorney General Bob Ferguson says he’s looking into at least 30 cases where police killed or injured people in 2020.

He says he wants to find out whether law enforcement agencies are following new rules .governing how they must conduct deadly-force investigations.

"It is extremely important that in cases like this that we have full transparency for the public," Ferguson said. "And, that way, the public knows there's accountability and individuals can draw their own conclusions on what happened."

The review is centered around Initiative 940, which voters passed statewide in 2018. It created new requirements aimed at making deadly-force investigations more independent and transparent.

But Ferguson says the Pierce County Sheriff’s Department failed to follow those rules while investigating Ellis’ death. Governor Inslee has handed that investigation over to the Washington State Patrol and he’s assembled a task force that will look at possible reforms to I-940.

--Will James, KNKX-Tacoma

Investigations continue into police actions during protests

8:45 a.m. -- The Seattle Office of Police Accountability continues to investigate complaints related to the recent protests. Andrew Myerberg is the director of that office. He told city council members Tuesday they're investigating 28 incidents involving the police, reported through thousands of complaints.

"We, I think all in all, received about 18,000 contacts," Myerberg said. "Again the vast majority of those were related to the pepper spraying of the young boy."

Questions are also being raised over the police department's use of tear gas, flash bangs, and rubber bullets on those protesting police violence and racism. Myerberg says they have a dashboard on their website where you can track the progress of the investigations.

--Kate Walters

Seattle mayor proposes 5% SPD cut to balance budget

8:30 a.m. -- The city is facing a nearly $380 million budget gap because of revenue shortfalls and fallout from the Covid-19 pandemic.

"This is the biggest financial hit the city has ever seen," Seattle budget director Ben Noble said. "Our resources are taken as a share of the local economy and the local economy is getting smaller, significantly smaller. There’s just no way around that."

Part of Mayor Jenny Durkan's remedy for the 2020 budget shortfall is cutting $20 million slated for the Seattle Police Department. That's nearly 5% of SPD total budget.

While the cuts are aimed at mitigating the losses caused by the pandemic, they come as protesters in Seattle are calling to defund the police department. Protesters have promoted a 50% reduction in Seattle police funding.

Read more details here.

--Gil Aegerter

Shooting victim speaks out; says attack was racially motivated

8 a.m. -- A 33-year-old man recovering in the hospital after being shot near the CHOP is speaking out and alleges that the incident was carried out by some form of right wing extremists.

KIRO 7 reports that DeJuan Young heard gunfire while at the CHOP early Saturday morning and decided to leave. When he was outside the protest zone around 11th and Pike, a group of men fired upon him from a distance. Then they ran up and fired up close as he lay on the hood of a car.

Young told KIRO 7: “So basically I was shot by, I’m not sure if they’re ‘Proud Boys’ or KKK. But the verbiage that they said was hold this ‘N-----’ and shot me.”

Lorenzo Anderson, 19, died that same morning after being shot inside the protest zone.

Young also takes issue with how Seattle police handled the situation. He argues that he was shot outside the protest zone, so police should have been able to respond, but didn't. He was taken to Harborview Medial Center in a van driven bey volunteer medics at the CHOP.

--Dyer Oxley


Seattle officials respond to CHOP violence

9:45 a.m. -- Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan and Seattle Police Chief Carmen Best said Monday that police will return to the East Precinct which was boarded up about two weeks ago. No word on when that will happen.

Durkan also said that conditions in the CHOP have deteriorated with multiple violent incidents. She said people should leave the protest area at night. Efforts to disband the so-called CHOP are coming after one person was killed and two others were injured in a pair of weekend shootings in the area.

While the mayor acknowledged the demonstrations there have been mostly peaceful she also said she will not allow any more violence. CHOP organizers have talked about imposing an overnight curfew and other security measures.

Read more details here.

--Angela King

Tacoma considers body cams for police

9:30 a.m. -- Tacoma Police Chief Don Ramsdell will meet with city leaders Tuesday to talk about body cameras for his officers.

The chief expressed support for the cameras last week after some community leaders called for his resignation and following the death Manuel Ellis. Ellis died while being restrained by Tacoma police officers in March.

--Angela King

Gov. Inslee creating task force on policing and racial justice

9:15 a.m. -- Washington Governor Jay Inslee announced he's creating a task force to address issues of policing and racial justice.

The group of community members and relatives of those who were killed by police officers will offer recommendations for legislation involving police use-of-force.

The governor said "we must listen to the voices of impacted communities and families to hear their experiences."

--Angela King

CHOP garden

9:10 a.m. --

Seattle police union contract agenda being framed

9 a.m. -- The former co-chair of Seattle's Community Police Commission is hoping to see more reforms within the Seattle Police Department as the police union contract is set to expire this year.

Lisa Daugaard now leads the Public Defender's Association. She says the city's bargaining agenda is being framed right now and community members should try to shape it. She says all sides could benefit from reforms.

"Police holding the bag for a set of problems that they are not the right answer to is not in the interest of law enforcement either," Daugaard said. "We need to have that community wide conversation. It is critical that the city not bargain away those kinds of changes."

The City Council recently passed a law restricting the use of tear gas and other crowd control methods. But Councilmember Lisa Herbold says the police union wants to bargain over the issue.

--Gil Aegerter

Morning coffee at the CHOP

8:45 a.m. --

Updates on shooting victims from the CHOP

8 a.m. -- Harborview Medical Center reports that an adult male victim is in satisfactory condition and was treated for non-life threatening injuries after a shooting in the CHOP early Tuesday morning.

Also, the 33-year-old victim that arrived after the shooting early Saturday morning has improved. He is now in satisfactory condition and has left the intensive care unit. One other victim died as a result of that shooting.

--Dyer Oxley

Third shooting reported at Capitol Hill protest zone, fourth victim

6:55 a.m. -- A person was shot just before 5 a.m. at 11th Avenue East and East Denny Way, according to Seattle police. It's the third shooting in the CHOP since Saturday morning, and the fourth shooting victim in as many days.

The shooting happened at the northeast corner of Cal Anderson Park in the area called CHOP -- Capitol Hill Organized Protest -- where rallies against racial injustice have been going on for weeks.

A spokesperson for Harborview Medical Center said a male victim was brought to the emergency room with a gunshot but was not in life-threatening condition.

The victim arrived by Seattle Medic One, a change from the two previous incidents, when victims were taken for treatment in private vehicles. Fire and police officials said that in the first incident, in which one man was killed and another was critically injured, they had difficulty reaching the victims.

--Gil Aegerter


Seattle police provide account of Sunday evening shooting

11 a.m. -- Seattle police have released a brief account of the shooting that occurred Sunday evening. According to SPD, a 17-year-old male was shot near Cal Anderson Park shortly after 10 p.m. Officers waited at the perimeter of the CHOP with firefighters. They soon learned that a victim was being transported to Harborview Medical Center.

The 17-year-old was shot in the arm. He was released from the hospital that same night.

Police heard of a possible second victim, but were unable to confirm that report.

SPD is asking for any tips regarding the shooting to be called into call the tip line at 206-233-5000.

--Dyer Oxley

Attorney General Barr comments on CHOP

8 a.m. -- Attorney General William Barr talked about the CHOP on FOX News Sunday. He said, like many of the protests, it seems to have been hijacked by professional agitators.

"Protests and demonstrations are fine, but when they become mob violence we need to restore public order. We can't be ruled by mobs, we have to be ruled by the legal process."

Barr said he has a duty to protect the federal rights of Americans.

When asked if he would sue the city or Mayor Jenny Durkan to protect those rights Barr would only say the President is keeping an eye on things and that he can't let this go on indefinitely.

"There's obviously legitimate demonstrators out there raising concerns about police abuse. But, a lot of these demonstrations have been hijacked by, essentially, anarchistic groups and professional agitators who are really in it just for the violence and confrontation."

--Kim Shepard

Sunday night shooting victim was treated and released

6:30 a.m. -- The person who was shot Sunday night on Capitol Hill was a 17-year old male, according to spokesperson for Harborview Medical Center.

Susan Gregg said the person was brought in about 11 p.m. and treated and released.

The shooting was reported to have occurred in or near the area known as CHOP. Police did not release an exact address, but an aid response was reported at Harvard Avenue and East Pine Street, a couple blocks from Cal Anderson Park.

Gregg said a 33-year-old man shot in another incident Saturday remained in critical condition in intensive care at Harborview. Another person, 19-year-old man, was killed in that shooting.


Another shooting in the CHOP

11:30 p.m. -- One person has been sent to Harborview Medical Center with a gunshot wound after another shooting reported in the CHOP in Seattle's Capitol Hill neighborhood.

Seattle police report that they are investigating the incident, and that there may have been another shooting Sunday evening -- potentially making it the second such incident on Sunday, and the third over the weekend.

Read previous updates:

June 15-21

June 1-14

May 30-31