Two more young men were shot in “the CHOP” in Seattle, raising the total shootings to four. Two of those young men have died, and others are in critical condition. 19-year-old Horace Lorenzo Anderson was killed on June 20th. The latest victim’s name hasn’t been released, but he was only 16 years old.
Seattle’s police chief Carmen Best noted the tragic irony of the shootings and deaths in “the CHOP,” saying that the young African American victims were supposedly in a place where Black lives matter :
It’s very unfortunate that we have another murder in this area identified as the CHOP. (They were) at a place where they claim to be working for Black Lives Matter but they’re gone. They’re dead now. And, we’ve had multiple other incidents — assaults, rapes, robbery, shootings — so this is something that’s going to need to change.
“The Chop” started out as CHAZ, the Capitol Hill Autonomous Zone in Seattle. Violent Black Lives Matter and Antifa protestors clashed with Seattle police for several days until the police abandoned their precinct. The protesters then claimed a roughly six-block area in Seattle and constructed barricades and walls to keep the police out.
Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan was optimistic about the protesters and CHAZ, describing the autonomous zone as having a festive air akin to a block party. She suggested that CHAZ could have a “summer of love,” just like 1967 in San Francisco’s Haight-Ashbury district. She did nothing to reclaim the area for the people that lived there until several lives were lost.
The name of the zone was changed to CHOP to remember the sound that the guillotine made in revolutionary France in the 18th century. The citizens of CHAZ seemed to admire the tactics of the “reign of terror,” which ended the lives of thousands of aristocrats and other “enemies of the state.”
Now CHOP resembles the reign of terror more than a block party unless you are in Chicago. And the 1967 “summer of love” turned violent after all. It is time for CHOP to end.
CHOP was scheduled for dismantling on June 27th, but protesters laid down in the street, making it impossible to use heavy equipment to remove the barriers. Indeed, the leaders of CHOP are seeking to secure the abandoned East precinct building as their headquarters.
It is hard to believe that these hostile groups are being allowed to occupy a sizeable area of an American city like Seattle, but that is exactly what is happening. When will it end?