Post navigation

Prev: (01/14/21) | Next: (01/15/21)

Plywood comes down as Seattle Police begins process of removing East Precinct wall and barriers — UPDATE — Mayor’s office: Wall expected down ‘in coming weeks’

(Image: Alex Garland)

The reopening to the public of Capitol Hill’s East Precinct will apparently come piece by piece. This week, plywood is being removed from the Seattle Police Department’s precinct headquarters at 12th and Pine, the first time Seattle daylight has touched the glass since the summer days of CHOP and the Capitol Hill protest zone. The large cement wall and fencing barricading the facility and closing it off from the public remain.

A department spokesperson tells CHS the removal of the plywood “is part of a process underway” to fully reopen the precinct “when safe to do so.” Work is also underway to repair the glass and strengthen the windows.

There is no schedule for removing the wall.


HELP KEEP CHS 'PAY WHAT YOU CAN' FOR EVERYONE -- SUBSCRIBE TODAY! Support local journalism dedicated to your neighborhood. SUBSCRIBE HERE. Join to become a subscriber at $1/$5/$10 a month to help CHS provide community news with NO PAYWALL. You can also sign up for a one-time annual payment.


CHS reported here in August as the Seattle Department of Transportation installed concrete “eco-blocks” and a wire fence along Pine and 12th Ave, blocking sidewalks and crosswalks and obstructing bike lanes. The Seattle Police Department said the barrier was necessary amid ongoing protest and arson threats after reclaiming the building following the CHOP sweep.

In early December, Mayor Jenny Durkan said she was responding to demands from community groups and neighborhood businesses with “urgent” initiatives to reopen Cal Anderson Park and remove the East Precinct barriers.

Just before Christmas, Cal Anderson was swept of encampments and activists in an action that included 24 arrests. The park was officially reopened to public use only a few days later for the first time since CHOP.

Durkan’s office has not yet responded to CHS’s inquiry about the status of its efforts to reopen the East Precinct and remove the wall and fencing. UPDATE 1/15/2021 11:00 AM: The mayor’s office is echoing SPD’s message about the removal — it’s the start. “Taking down the plywood on the East Precinct was the first step to removing the eco-blocks outside the precinct,” a spokesperson said. “We expect the eco-blocks to be removed in the coming weeks.”

(Image: Alex Garland)

The East Precinct wall, meanwhile, has become a flashpoint unto itself in the ongoing nightly skirmishes between anti-police protesters and SPD with a string of arrests over recent weeks for people allegedly chalking and tagging the wall.

In addition to antagonizing activists, the wall is an eyesore and doesn’t exactly send a welcoming message to the surrounding neighborhood. Central Seattle Greenways has also documented the wall’s dangers for pedestrians, cyclists, and drivers. For those entering the barrier every day, the wall and fence also likely adds to the sense that the East Precinct is a building under siege. It might have felt that way to some during the height of protest crowds. On a sunny January day, that siege mentality seems a little ridiculous.

UPDATE 1/15/2021 9:15 AM: Seattle Police responded after a small group was reported tagging the precinct wall Thursday night and made two arrests, Activists on social media said some of the people committing the vandalism were using chalk. Live stream video of the incident showed a large response from SPD’s Community Response Group filling E Pine with police vehicles and officers as the standoff escalated. SPD reports two people were arrested and booked for investigation of assault on an officer.

Busted (Image: SPD)

UPDATE x2: SPD says the demonstrators also broke one of the recently uncovered and replaced windows:

Officers arrested two people during a protest outside the East Precinct Thursday evening.

A group of approximately 30 people gathered inside Cal Anderson Park just after 7 PM. The group spent an hour and a half in the park burning flags and drawing on the fountain with chalk. The group took their protest to the East Precinct at 8:30 PM where they used chalk to draw on the wall outside of the East Precinct. A few individuals from the group threw items at the building cracking a recently replaced window.

The group eventually left but not before officers arrested two people for investigation of assault on an officer.


HELP KEEP CHS 'PAY WHAT YOU CAN' FOR EVERYONE -- SUBSCRIBE TODAY! Support local journalism dedicated to your neighborhood. SUBSCRIBE HERE. Join to become a subscriber at $1/$5/$10 a month to help CHS provide community news with NO PAYWALL. You can also sign up for a one-time annual payment.


Subscribe and support CHS Contributors -- $1/$5/$10 per month

Subscribe
Notify of
guest
10 Comments
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
CH Resident
CH Resident
1 month ago

Looking forward to these barriers coming down. I hope they won’t start leaving their cars running outside the precinct for hours at a time once they have the space for it again…

caphiller
caphiller
1 month ago

Unfortunately, considering the level of vagrancy and regular marches near the precinct, I don’t think SPD will consider it “safe” to remove the wall any time soon.

RWK
RWK
1 month ago
Reply to  caphiller

I think you’re right. There might be a temporary lull in the criminal activities of the far-left radicals, but they will be back…unfortunately.

Hillery
Hillery
1 month ago

There was a crowd outside last night and there was another chalk arrest. Squad cars everywhere blocking off the area too.

CH observer
CH observer
1 month ago

I watched peaceful protesters throw rock type objects at the precinct on the live stream. Then protesters deny it happened on Twitter.

The Ghostt Of Capitol Hill
The Ghostt Of Capitol Hill
1 month ago

These police are such a nuisance.

LifeontheHill
LifeontheHill
1 month ago

I don’t know if this will ever end

One of the live streamers of the protest last night said that SPD will need to put the plywood back up.

CHqueer
CHqueer
1 month ago
Reply to  LifeontheHill

It will end when the police arrest every anarchist larper that comes to attack the neighborhood immediately, Pete Holmes finally starts prosecuting them with felonies, and the media starts acknowledging that they are not peaceful protestors for SJ. If that fails involve the feds and charge them with terrorism. I hate what the right has done to this country. I also hate what insurrectionary anarchism has done to Capitol Hill and Seattle for the last 7 months. Both groups are a bunch of losers, mostly white, mostly from the suburbs and rural areas, many with narcissistic personality disorder, that have been radicalized on the internet. Both are a threat to free speech and democracy because ideology is their religion and religious zealots are f***ing crazy.

Capitol Hill Resident
Capitol Hill Resident
1 month ago

So, this blog writes the following in their article above, criticizing the police:

“In addition to antagonizing activists, the wall is an eyesore and doesn’t exactly send a welcoming message to the surrounding neighborhood. Central Seattle Greenways has also documented the wall’s dangers for pedestrians, cyclists, and drivers. For those entering the barrier every day, the wall and fence also likely adds to the sense that the East Precinct is a building under siege. It might have felt that way to some during the height of protest crowds. On a sunny January day, that siege mentality seems a little ridiculous.”

Then, immediately below that, they put in updates about the damage done to the precinct by what they call a protest. While I appreciate the hard work this site puts in, probably thanklessly, to report the news I strongly believe that they and all media outlets need to refrain from editorializing while they are reporting.

Paul
Paul
1 month ago

The far-left groups that are planning continued attacks on Capitol Hill are active on #seattleprotests. The best defense is to report them to Twitter since they are promoting insurrection.