Community leaders and an activist whose brother was killed by Seattle police in 2016 are urging protesters who occupy the organized Capitol Hill protest, or CHOP, beginning Wednesday night.
In a statement to “comrades in the fight” released on social media on Wednesday, CHOP organizers stated: “It is time to move on to the next phase of our organization and move from direct action to virtual activism.”
“The CHOP project is now complete,” read the long message. “While we hope that a very small handful of holdouts can try to stay in the CHOP, they will no longer organize to support this presence and the number on the site will be too small to be more than a nuisance to pedestrians rather than a zonal block. “
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“We were informed that the full relocation of SPD East Enclosure personnel to the station will occur no later than early next week and will be preceded by removal of barriers and reopening of streets to traffic,” the statement said.
The statement then urged supporters to vote for presumptive Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden and re-elect Washington Governor Jay Inslee and Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan, both Democrats.
Andre Taylor, who founded the Not This Time organization, which aims to reduce police violence, said Tuesday that the four recent shootings in the area that protesters initially called the Capitol Hill Autonomous Zone, or CHAZ, distract important messages. about racial injustice. His brother Che Taylor was shot dead by Seattle police in February 2016.
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“If there was no violence, you should have been there [long as] you wanted to stay there, but violence creates a different narrative where people in authority have to see it differently, “Taylor told KING-TV.
Tuesday marked the fifteenth consecutive night that protesters occupied Seattle’s Capitol Hill neighborhood, which includes the abandoned East Precinct, which officers were ordered to withdraw after a week of clashes between police and protesters following the death. by George Floyd in Minneapolis on May 25.
Lorenzo Anderson, 19, was shot to death in the CHOP early Saturday morning. A second man shot Saturday remained hospitalized in satisfactory condition. A third person, 17, was shot Sunday night and released from the hospital. A fourth shooting early Tuesday morning left a hospitalized man also in satisfactory condition, KOMO reported.
“Our community does not support violence,” Taylor told KOMO in another interview. “‘Oh, someone just got shot but Chop, Chop, Chop? Wait a minute, but are you just going to look at this black man who was killed here? This little baby; he’s 19 years old? No. No. You’re going to pause and you’re going to think about this black man because that’s the reason you did it. “
Mayor Durkan said Monday that he planned to dismantle the CHOP after a weekend of violence in the area that protesters called “cooperative-free, police-free.” Police Chief Carmen Best said officers would return to the East Precinct soon, but Durkan promised that she would first work with community organizers to convince protesters to disband before using police intervention.
Taylor said Tuesday that he tried to negotiate a meeting between Durkan and some of the CHOP organizers, but the organizers canceled at the last minute, KING reported. He said he planned to bring a group of pastors to CHOP to convince them that their movement “will not stay in one place.”
“CHOP is an idea and with that idea, you can take this idea to this country and then to this world,” he said. “Ideas cannot be killed.”
Police said his brother Che Taylor, a known criminal, disobeyed orders to raise his hands before reaching for a pistol in his Ford Taurus when officers fired, KING reported.
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King Dan County Prosecutor Satterberg said in January 2019 that no charges would be filed against the officers. He cited Washington state law that a police officer “will not be held criminally responsible for the use of lethal force without malice and in good faith believing that such an act is justifiable,” KIRO reported.
Taylor’s organization advocates Initiative 940, a bill that would make it easier to press charges against officers who use deadly force among other police reforms.