Seattle’s elected leadership promised to dismantle the CHAZ/CHOP protest zone by yesterday morning. Their failure might have cost another life in the fourth shooting over the last nine days in or around the protest zone. Protesters claimed that a Jeep tried to ram its way through the barricades and that it was “met by force,” with two gunshots clearly shown in video of the car afterward. One of the two has already died, while the other remains in critical condition, KING reports:
The Seattle Police Department is investigating a deadly shooting near the “Capitol Hill Organized Protest” (CHOP) zone Monday morning.
Seattle police tweeted about the shooting near 12th Avenue and East Pike Street in Capitol Hill around 3:45 a.m. Police tweeted there were reports of two people injured. …
One victim arrived at the hospital by a private vehicle from the CHOP around 3:15 a.m. The second victim was transported to the hospital by Seattle Fire Department medics and arrived at the hospital around 3:30 a.m. One of the victims has gunshot wounds to their hip, arm, and the temple.
Gregg said the shooting victim that arrived at the hospital around 3:30 a.m. died from their injuries.
If one credits the eyewitness testimony in KING’s video, an argument for self-defense might work. If the vehicle was aiming at people, then it becomes a lethal weapon. However, if all they did was hit the barricades on a public street, then there is no reason to use deadly force in self-defense. That, and the fact that they shot both the driver and the passenger, would almost certainly defeat a self-defense claim, since the passenger didn’t have control of the “lethal” weapon at all.
There might be more to the self-defense theory, however:
Another shooting in #CHOP overnight. Witnesses report that a white SUV drove into Cal Anderson Park firing shots, then armed protesters (acting as CHOP security) opened fire on the SUV. Two in critical at Harborview. @SeattlePD is investigating. #Q13FOX pic.twitter.com/7YaayKqsur
— Brandi Kruse (@BrandiKruse) June 29, 2020
Did they find a gun? Do they have it with a provable chain of custody? Or did they plant it after the fact to frame the shooting victims? It’s the same questions that often get asked about police shootings, only police have more accountability for all of those issues than CHAZians do — or want. It’s amazing how “policing” takes place even in no-police zones, eh?
This use of force points up yet again just how unlawful and dangerous the CHAZ/CHOP is — and was, from its inception. Armed bands have been a part of the so-called autonomous zone from the start, and where weapons aren’t used, threats of mob violence have sufficed. We have local government to prevent this kind of vigilantism from taking root and displacing legitimate law enforcement.
It has now been a week since Mayor Jenny Durkan promised to disperse the CHAZ/CHOP seizure of public property. It took until Friday for the city to make an effort to accomplish that, only to give up when its remaining militants refused to willingly surrender it. That cowardice is costing lives and incentivizing violence by extremists, perhaps on all sides, which is precisely what we expect when legitimate authority surrenders to mobs. It’s long past time that Governor Jay Inslee direct the National Guard to restore order in Seattle.
How many more lives will have to get lost to Durkan’s “summer of love,” anyway?