Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan (D) said Monday that the city’s police department will return to the abandoned East Precinct “peacefully and in the near future” after a grim weekend at the busy Capitol Hill protest during which three people were shot.
Durkan said protests would still be allowed in the area, but authorities would try to reduce nighttime activities. She said returning police officers will not force protesters to leave the area, but will instead ask them to voluntarily leave the area.
“It is time for people to go home, it is time for us to restore … Capitol Hill so that it can be a vibrant part of the community,” Durkan said, the Seattle Times reported. “The impacts on businesses and residents and the community are now too much.”
Seattle police initially left the area about two weeks ago when protesters demanded changes to the city’s police tactics and the uprooting of systemic racism following the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis police custody on May 25.
Two men were shot Friday night in the area, one of them fatally. On Sunday night, a 17-year-old boy was shot in the arm, although he was treated and then released from a Seattle-area hospital.