(UPDATED) Mayor Durkan Issues Executive Order Regarding Capitol Hill Protest Zone

Updates below

Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan issued an Executive Order (PDF) regarding the East Precinct and Cal Anderson Park area today.  The order declared the gathering in this area as an “unlawful assembly” requiring immediate action from city agencies, including the Seattle Police Department. 

Statement from Chief Carmen Best:  

Today, Mayor  Jenny  Durkan issued an Executive Order  to vacate the East Precinct/Cal Anderson area.  Seattle police will be in the area this morning enforcing the  Mayor’s  order.   

This order, and our police response, comes after weeks of violence in and around the Capitol Hill Occupied Protest zone, including four shootings, resulting in multiple injuries and the deaths of two teenagers.   

As I have said, and I will say again, I support peaceful demonstrations. Black Lives Matter, and I too want to help propel this movement toward meaningful change in our community.  

But enough is enough.   

The CHOP has become lawless and brutal. Four shootings–-two fatal—robberies, assaults, violence and countless property crimes have occurred in this several block area.   

My job, and the job of our officers, is to protect and serve our community. This is not an end to our department’s engagement with demonstrators. We must continue our efforts to build trust and redefine our roles as guardians in our city. I will continue to work with the Community Police Commission, the Office of Police Accountability, the Inspector General, the Mayor, the Seattle City Council and ALL of our community and social justice partners in the coming weeks to encourage peace and to begin meaningful dialog about reenvisioning public safety in our community. 

Today, the public will see an SPD operational response in the East Precinct and Cal Anderson Park. Officers will be donning a variety of uniforms, based on their assignment for the day.  Some will be wearing a higher level of protective gear. This equipment not meant to be a preemptive show of force. Police are utilizing this equipment because individuals associated with the CHOP area are known to be armed and dangerous, and may be associated with active shootings, homicides, robberies, assaults, and other violent crimes.

The following video contains several open source media recordings of several violent events and numerous armed individuals in the CHOP. 

This post will be updated with more information as it becomes available.


Update at 5:30 PM

Seattle Police have made 44 arrests for failure to disperse, assault, obstruction, pedestrian interference and malicious mischief.

Police deployed pepper spray during the arrest of an individual who was armed with a metal pole. In a separate incident, an officer used a single less lethal 40mm sponge round on a man who appeared to be brandishing a metal pipe.

Mayor Durkan’s Executive Order remains in effect this evening. Officers will disperse groups or individuals as needed, or make arrests, to ensure safety in the area.

Thank you to those who have complied with the Mayor’s order, and to the Capitol Hill community for letting us continue to serve you.

Update 7/2/20 at 5:30 AM

Starting just before midnight, and for the next several hours, officers made a number of arrests of individuals in and around the area of Broadway and East Pine. A total of 25 individuals were arrested for failure to disperse, assault, and obstructing.

Police deployed blast balls and pepper spray while attempting to make arrests after individuals in the crowd began throwing bottles at officers.

Mayor Durkan’s Executive Order remains in effect today. Officers will disperse groups or individuals as needed, or make arrests, to ensure safety in the area.

Update 7/3/20 5:30 AM

Shortly after 10:00 PM on Thursday, July 2, officers arrested three people outside the West Precinct for property destruction.

Beginning about 1:00 AM on Friday, officers arrested seven individuals near Broadway and East Pine Street for assault, harassment, and failure to disperse.

The arrested individuals were later booked into the King County Jail.

Update 7/7/20:

From the Office of the Mayor’s website:

Updates on Capitol Hill from the City of Seattle – Office of the Mayor

As of Saturday, July 4th, City departments were able to successfully re-open Pine and adjacent streets around Cal Anderson park and the East Precinct to pedestrian and vehicular traffic, accomplishing one of the goals of the Mayor’s Executive Order: to restore the life safety, public health, and property issues in and around the Cal Anderson Park Area. As a result, SPD will resume normal operations to maintain public safety and allow access in the area. However, Seattle Parks and Recreation is continuing the closure of Cal Anderson Park as they work to repair, remediate, and address damage to park property. City departments will continue to engage community to create a public space that recognizes the community garden, art, and conversation corner.