Police Move In to Seattle Protest Zone

Early Wednesday clear-out followed mayor's executive order, ended in 2 dozen arrests
By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 1, 2020 11:57 AM CDT
2 Dozen Arrested as Cops Infiltrate Seattle Protest
A protester stands in front of a road blocked by Seattle police in the Capitol Hill Organized Protest zone early Wednesday.   (AP Photo/Aron Ranen)

A week after officials announced plans to retake an occupied protest zone in Seattle, police have moved in. The FBI assisted officers from Seattle and Bellevue in clearing out the area encompassing several blocks in the city's Capitol Hill section, widely known as the Capitol Hill Occupied Protest, early Wednesday, per the Seattle Times. The outlet describes at least 100 officers dressed in body armor and wielding batons and other weapons moving through the area, accompanied by "tactical vehicles." Mayor Jenny Durkan had issued an executive order declaring "an unlawful assembly requiring immediate action" just before 5am. Police started issuing dispersal orders, and KING 5 describes 23 arrests by 7:45am.

Seattle Police Chief Carmen Best described weeks of violence, "including four shootings, resulting in multiple injuries and the deaths of two teenagers." Police said a 16-year-old boy was killed and a 14-year-old boy was injured when shots were fired on a vehicle in the zone early Monday, per the Times. Lorenzo Anderson, 19, died after being shot at the edge of the protest zone on June 20. Defenders argue the violence is unconnected with the protest. Police said some protesters overturned portable toilets as officers approached Wednesday. Others erected a barricade of trash cans, but at least one protester urged compliance. "Don't mess this up for Black Lives Matter!" Rick Hearns shouted through a megaphone, per the Times. "We'll get another place." (More Seattle stories.)

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