Reports of violence inside Seattle‘s police-free Capitol Hill Organized Protest (CHOP) zone are very troubling” and a direct result of the failure of city leadership, according to Seattle Police Officers Guild President Michael Solan.
In an interview on “Fox & Friends Weekend” with hosts Pete Hegseth Saturday, Solan remarked that it is “no longer the summer of love” like Democratic Mayor Jenny Durkan claimed, but the “summer of chaos.”
According to The Seattle Times, police homicide and assault detectives are investigating an early morning shooting in CHOP that left one person dead and another in critical condition.
The Seattle Police Department’s (SPD) public information officer Sgt. Lauren Truscott told the Times that while she did not yet know whether detectives had taken anyone into custody, the department was reviewing public-source video and body-camera video for evidence.
Solan said Saturday: “Early this morning, that violence was raw and real where one of our community members lost their life and police are still not allowed into that area and were prevented to providing that police service to the area to locate victors and/or render aid. [It’s] very troubling what’s going on.”
New cement and wood barricades bear the name CHOP, Tuesday, June 16, 2020, inside what has been named the Capitol Hill Occupied Protest zone in Seattle. The city put the barriers in place Tuesday in hopes of defining an area where emergency, delivery, and other vehicles can travel through the area while still preserving space for protesters, who have been there since police pulled back from near the department’s East Precinct after recent clashes with people protesting the death of George Floyd. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren)
“It can’t stand in America, and this is a direct result of city leadership, elected officials failing the reasonable community of Seattle to enforce the rule of law,” Solan told Hegseth. “And, this just isn’t the area occupied in a six-block zone where police are still forbidden and still don’t have their East precinct. This is now impacting our entire city.”
According to Solan, the department’s West precinct was also defaced with anti-police graffiti overnight.
“And again, we’re left wondering what’s next?” he asked. “And, now our elected officials have removed our ability to have less lethal chemical munitions that are effective for us to disburse unruly violent crowds to protect those police facilities — let alone ourselves.”
“So, we’re in a very, very troubling time in Seattle and it’s deeply concerning that…Everybody across this country needs to be aware of what’s going on in Seattle,” he urged.
But, as protests have now continued for a month in the liberal Pacific Northwest metropolis, Solan does not yet see a solution or compromise on the horizon.
“Well, you’re going to have to have the political backbone to finally enforce the rule of law, because if this continues to spiral down — which we saw earlier this morning with a homicide — I don’t see what the remedy is,” he admitted.
“So, we need leadership now more than ever,” asserted Solan. “And, I find it ironic that the same public officials [who] are creating these decisions that put everybody’s public safety at risk are now calling out for defunding the police. And, those two aren’t compatible.”
“You can’t have ‘defunding the police’ and better police services because the first thing to go — as you and I both know, Pete — is training. And, if you remove the training budget, you remove quality police service,” he concluded. “And, we know that separating good cops from bad is all about training.”