About jseattle

Justin is publisher of CHS. You can reach him at chs@capitolhillseattle.com or call/txt (206) 399-5959. Follow @jseattle on Twitter or be best pals on Facebook.

Summer Taylor remembered

Summer Taylor, right, dancing early Saturday morning on I-5 (Images: @nowah_j)

They died after dancing the Cupid Shuffle on I-5 in the middle of Seattle on a night of protest and energy with friends and loved ones.

Summer Taylor was 24.

The activist and Capitol Hill resident died Saturday as they marched and danced with the nightly Black Femme March for Black Lives Matter. As it had for weeks, the group entered the freeway and brought traffic to a stop to get their message out and make a stand. Continue reading

Capitol Hill and Cal Anderson reopen after CHOP leaving artists and activists wondering what Black Lives Matter promises will be kept

(Image: CHS)

As the physical clean-up of E Pine and Cal Anderson is completed, activists and the communities that formed around the Capitol Hill protest zone have growing doubts about the commitment of Mayor Jenny Durkan and her city department leaders to Black Lives Matter promises big and small made in the wake of the Seattle Police raid and sweep that cleared the area of the occupied protest last week.

An off-the-mark preservation effort Sunday to protect the massive Black Lives Matter mural that stretches along E PIne south of Cal Anderson at the heart of the month-long protest and occupation is a sign, the artists behind it say, of their concerns that the city wants to simply wash away Seattle’s BLM goals even as activists continue to march — and risk their lives — for the cause.

“What happened today is putting a very bad impression on how these things will go,” Takiyah Ward of TDUB CUSTOMS, who said she was speaking as one representative for the 13 artists who worked on the mural, tells CHS.

Sunday morning, Lawrence Pitre, an artist and head of the nonprofit business organization the Central Area Chamber of Commerce, began what he called a citizen-led preservation effort to seal the painted pavement and protect the street-wide BLACK LIVES MATTER letters. Continue reading

Police investigating after ‘incendiary’ fire at Central District Uncle Ike’s

(Image: Uncle Ike’s)

The Uncle Ike’s shopping complex at the corner of 23rd and Union suffered $5,000 in damage in a suspected overnight arson fire.

Seattle Fire tells CHS their investigation determined the early morning Sunday fire was “incendiary” in nature meaning it was likely intentionally set.

Crews were called to the retail shop just before 2:30 AM after an automatic fire alarm was triggered. Arriving firefighters found light smoke coming from a rooftop vent and transitioned the call to a full response and bringing several trucks to the scene.

The fire was quickly taken care of and three people inside the shop were reported to have exited on their own without injury. Continue reading

Confederate memorial in Capitol Hill’s Lake View Cemetery toppled

Thanks reader Jonathan for the picture

Ten tons of granite hewed from the Georgia mountain birthplace of the Ku Klux Klan has come tumbling down from the top of Seattle’s Capitol Hill.

The controversial monument to Confederate soldiers of the Civil War in the middle of Capitol Hill’s Lake View Cemetery was pulled down apparently Friday or overnight. Witnesses described a scene indicating the huge Stone Mountain granite monument was toppled and dragged until it collapsed. Yellow pull straps were left behind at the scene.

The Independence Day episode echoes with efforts to remove and topple monuments to racist figures and the Confederacy around the country during a wave of Black Lives Matter protests following the killing of George Floyd by Minneapolis police. States bearing the Confederate “stars and bars” are also grappling with pressure to remove the symbol.

Meanwhile, with the controversial monument toppled, 4th of July also brought a crowd of about 100 chanting and marching right wing protesters and Trump supporters to the area where the Capitol Hill protest zone was cleared earlier this week. Around 1 PM Saturday, the march clashed with groups of counter-protesters near 11th and Pine and video showed a right wing demonstrator spraying his opponents with pepper spray. The group, including some apparently heavily armed participants, was reported marching around the neighborhood and into Volunteer Park.

Continue reading

Driver smashes into Seattle Black Lives Matter crowd during I-5 protest — UPDATE: One dead

The moments before Saturday’s terrible collision (Image: @nowah_j)

(Image: @nocopcoop)

Two people were sent to the hospital, one with life threatening injuries, after a driver sped through a crowd of dozens of Black Lives Matter protesters blocking southbound I-5 early Saturday morning.

The driver has been taken into custody, according to the Washington State Patrol.

Just after 1:30 AM, a white sedan sped into the crowd assembled on the freeway near Yale just north of the Olive Way overpass, careening into at least two protesters in a scene captured by journalists livestreaming the demonstration. Seattle Fire reports the two victims are women in their 20s. One suffered life threatening injuries while the second suffered serious injuries but is reported in stable condition. UPDATE x2: WSP says the victims are a 24-year-old from Seattle and a 32-year-old from Bellingham. UPDATE x3: They have been identified as Summer Taylor, 24, and Diaz Love, 32. Information on how to help is below.

UPDATE 10:00 PM: According to Harborview, Taylor passed away earlier Saturday.

Continue reading

‘Violations of the Governor’s Proclamation’ — Businesses must turn away customers without masks as state tries to quash reopening COVID-19 spike

(Image: Washington Department of Health)

With the spread of COVID-19 out of control across much of the nation and the rate of infection flat or on the rise in 48 states, Washington and King County are also starting July with an explosion in new cases.

Starting next week, Gov. Jay Inslee has ordered a statewide requirement for businesses to require all employees and customers to wear face coverings.

“Under this proclamation, businesses may not serve any customer, services or goods, if they do not comply with the state-wide face covering order,” a statement on the proclamation reads. The proclamation follows the implementation of statewide face covering requirements that went into effect June 26th. The state is also collecting citizen reports on business violations as part of the effort.

Inslee has also ordered a halt on advancing counties from their current phases. More restrictions and rollbacks could follow.

Despite the health risks, there is massive pressure to more fully restart the economy. The Seattle City Council next week will vote on a new tax on big businesses as it looks to patch the massive budget shortfall expected in the city in the wake of the ongoing COVID-19 crisis.

The restrictions come as much of the state has seen loosening of social distancing and business restrictions coincide with an acceleration of the spread of the stubborn outbreak. In King County where restrictions were advanced to “Phase 2” to end June, the first case count of July brought a major spike with 251 new COVID-19 cases reported, the second highest day reported yet in the county. Seven of those cases were reported in the Capitol Hill and Central District area. Continue reading

Post-CHOP protests and arrests continue for second night on Capitol Hill — UPDATE: 12th and E Pine reopened

(Image: Tom Walsh)

The flip in the Capitol Hill protest zone that has put police back into a defensive perimeter encircling the blocks around the reclaimed East Precinct brought another night of arrests.

Social media accounts and Seattle Police reported “several arrests” again overnight Thursday into early Friday morning at the new core of the ongoing clash at Broadway and Pine.

“Shortly after 10:00 PM on Thursday, July 2, officers arrested three people outside the West Precinct for property destruction,” police reported. “Beginning about 1:00 AM on Friday, officers arrested seven individuals near Broadway and East Pine Street for assault, harassment, and failure to disperse.”

(Image: Tom Walsh)

King County Jail records showed one person booked for assault, one for failure to disperse, one booked for obstruction, and three jailed overnight for investigation of malicious harassment, the state’s hate crime statute and a possible felony. UPDATE: A representative for the King County Prosecutor says the bookings were in error. Seattle Police told the prosecutor’s office two people were arrested for investigation of malicious mischief — a misdemeanor unrelated to malicious harassment —  for spraypainting on a building. The third person booked for harassment was not involved in an incident related to the protest.

While the demonstrations gathering on the western edge of the police perimeter set up after Wednesday’s raid and camp sweep are so far much smaller, the clashes with police remain equally if not more intense. 25 were reported arrested overnight Wednesday into Thursday. Continue reading

More arrests overnight on Capitol Hill as new battle lines form between protesters and police

There are nights of police lines and protester standoffs, explosions and pepper spray again in the core of Capitol Hill. The first night after Seattle Police and the city sweeping back in to retake the East Precinct and clear the Capitol Hill protest zone from Pike/Pine and Cal Anderson Park brought a new version of the ongoing tensions over demonstrations in the city.

The scale for now is much smaller. A crowd of dozens of protesters that began to form at Broadway and Pine’s rainbow crosswalk from the first moments after Wednesday’s early morning raid clashed with police as the overnight brought another dispersal order and then pepper spray and arrests. SPD reports another 25 people were arrested “for failure to disperse, assault, and obstructing.” The city’s ban on crowd control weapons isn’t set to take effect until later this month.

Smaller crowds also formed during the night at different points along the large perimeter police are maintaining around the precinct and park.

Other aspects of the night were familiar. The smaller crowd of dozens of protesters split at one point for the group to continue its nightly march to the West Precinct and I-5 between 520 and I-90 was also closed at one point overnight due to concerns over the demonstrators entering the freeway. UPDATE: Protesters are also said to be planning to continue nightly — and controversial — demonstrations outside Mayor Jenny Durkan’s Northeast Seattle home.

The night also brought explosions though not from the police flash bangs utilized in the large protests outside the East Precinct at 11th and Pine last month. Large fireworks were reported by nearby residents through the night, some lighting the sky above Cal Anderson while others boomed and echoed loudly off the area’s apartment buildings. Continue reading

What’s next after Seattle Police clear the Capitol Hill protest zone

In an afternoon press conference Mayor Jenny Durkan and SPD Chief Carmen Best answered questions about what could come next as protesters have been swept away from the East Precinct.

“We will be guided by each situation as it presents itself,” Durkan said about the possibility of protesters returning to 12th and Pine or turning their attention to another area of the city. There will not, they said, be another “situation like Capitol Hill.”

“I deeply, deeply regret the loss of life,” Durkan said about the two teens gunned down in the protest zone. “I want to meet with the families to express my condolences.”

In an interview with CHS earlier Wednesday, Chief Best told residents and nearby businesses to be prepared for “days” of recovery to reclaim the area and make the zone around the East Precinct and Cal Anderson Park safe again.

Durkan’s executive order to clear the area lasts 10 days and prohibits “gathering in this area as an unlawful assembly” requiring “immediate action from city agencies,” Seattle Police said in an announcement on the order. Residents and workers can access the area.

During the conference, heads of Durkan’s administration including SDOT leader Sam Zimbabwe and Human Services lead Jason Johnson detailed their department’s work in the area.

Zimbabwe said about 35 to 40 workers supported the clearance effort including work to preserve and store art from the protest zone. But SDOT, he said, was “not taking ownership of that in anyway” and would be working with community groups to preserve the art from the zone. Continue reading