The East Precinct wall has come down (but now there’s a big fence)

With May Day passed and a large security fence now erected around the building, city crews worked at removing the East Precinct’s cement block wall Tuesday after nine months of the barricade at 12th and Pine.

CHS reported here on SPD’s announcement last month that it was beginning the process of taking down the protective cement wall added around the 12th and Pine building in the wake of CHOP. Continue reading

‘Failures to act’ — City of Seattle sued over death of teen gunned down at CHOP

A tribute being left to Lorenzo Anderson — Lil Mob — last June

A federal lawsuit has been filed against the City of Seattle on behalf of the mother of Lorenzo Anderson, the 19-year-old shot and killed last June at 10th and Pine on the edge of the CHOP protest area.

“The City had no effective plan for providing police protection, fire protection, or other emergency services into the surrendered area,” the federal civil rights suit alleges, accusing the city and Seattle Police of “failures to act, including abandoning the SPD East Precinct and CHOP.”

Prosecutors say 18-year-old Marcel Long shot and killed Anderson at 10th and Pine in a fracas after what witnesses said was a night of gambling and fireworks around CHOP which had been formed for just over a week. Long has been charged but remains at large.

In the federal lawsuit brought by the Herrmann Law Group on behalf of Anderson’s mother Donnitta Sinclair, the appellants allege the city violated 14th Amendment due process rights and is negligent in Anderson’s death.

“By abandoning CHOP and approving a ‘no-cop’ zone where police only entered CHOP in the event of ‘life-threatening’ crimes, and sometimes not even then, the City created a danger,” the legal team writes. “Violence was foreseeable, but no working response was prepared.” Continue reading

Guilty verdict in cop killing of George Floyd that sparked Seattle’s year of Black Lives Matter protest and CHOP — UPDATE

A Seattle protester holds a portrait of George Floyd in the days following his May 25th, 2020 killing

E Pine’s BLM mural Tuesday afternoon (Image: CHS)

The demands for justice that sparked a year of protests across the country including the formation of CHOP and clashes with Seattle Police here on Capitol Hill are still far from being met but the cop who killed George Floyd has been convicted of murder.

A jury of his peers Tuesday convicted former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin of murder and manslaughter for killing the 46-year-old Floyd last May, a police killing that set off a wave of protests that have continued into 2021.

The verdict marks an unusual conviction in the prosecution of law enforcement personnel and a victory for Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison who said Tuesday that much more beyond the Floyd case still must change to address inequity in the justice system. “This has to end,” Ellison said of deadly police violence. “We need true justice. That’s not one case. That’s social transformation that says no one is beneath the law and no one is above it.” Continue reading

Remember that f#!cking plane flying over Capitol Hill during last summer’s protest? Here’s what it was up to

In early June in the first days of Seattle’s summer of Black Lives Matter protests and the formation of CHOP, a strange, noisy, seemingly endlessly circling airplane added to the peculiar tension building on Capitol Hill.

Thanks to Seattle criminal defense attorney Nacim Bouchtia, we can now get a look at what that Cessna 206 was up to in the air above the neighborhood.

Bouchtia filed a public records request with the Washington State Patrol for video surveillance recorded by the plane this summer including its long, droning loops above Capitol Hill. Those videos have now been uploaded to Youtube here.

CHS reported on the plane and WSP’s assistance to law enforcement on the ground during early June protest activity around the East Precinct: Continue reading

Welcome to the Former Anarchist Jurisdiction of Capitol Hill Seattle

How it ended — Get your Former Anarchist Jurisdiction designs here from litlnemo

A limp attempt late in the Trump administration to punish Seattle for Black Lives Matter protests and seize on right wing panic around the Capitol Hill Occupied Protest has drifted into history.

Welcome to the Capitol Hill Not So Autonomous Zone of the Former Anarchist Jurisdiction of Seattle, Washington.

President Joe Biden this week reversed the September 2020 Trump administration designation that attempted to penalize three major left-leaning cities — New York, Portland, and Seattle — in federal funding decisions because they were not cracking down on protests following the police-killing of George Floyd. Continue reading

FBI: Florida ‘hardcore leftist’ charged with federal threats traveled to CHOP to be part of ‘revolution’

From Baker’s now suspended Twitter account

The process of justice around a wave of political unrest last month including a violent crowd that formed in Olympia and the storming of the Capitol in Washington D.C. has netted another individual with a connection to our Capitol Hill.

Florida man Daniel Baker has been charged with transmitting an interstate communication “containing a threat to kidnap any person or threat to injure the person of another” after he “issued a call to arms for like-minded individuals to violently confront protesters gathered at the Florida Capitol.”

The FBI describes Baker as a heavily armed “hardcore leftist” who traveled the world including fighting the Turkish government with the Syrian Kurdish Army, the YPG, in the Middle East and allege the army veteran posted threats against military officers and police on social media.

According to the FBI, Baker’s 2020 travels “to participate in protests that have resulted in violence” also brought him to Seattle where he became part of the scene at CHOP including on the late June night of this deadly shootout that left a 16-year-old dead and a 14-year-old gravely wounded. Continue reading

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. Continue reading

Redfin says 30% want to live ‘somewhere else’ because of protests

In a new study, Seattle-based real estate service Redfin really gets to the heart of the matter of the summer’s Capitol Hill occupied protest zone — condo prices:

“Seattle’s condo market has really struggled in general during the pandemic, but the units that are closest to the CHOP have typically been selling even more slowly than other condos in Capitol Hill,” said local Redfin real estate agent Forrest Moody.

“I had one listing that was a block away from the CHOP and across the street from a Ferrari dealership that had its windows smashed,” Moody goes on to say. “The condo actually sold within five days, but that’s likely because we listed it for $25,000 less than we had planned to back in February.” Continue reading

Who ordered the abandonment of the East Precinct? — UPDATE

(Image: Matt Mitgang)

KING 5 is reporting new details of text messages and emails from city officials this summer as the CHOP occupied protest took shape on Capitol Hill including bizarre exchanges like this reported between Fire Chief Harold Scoggins and hip hop artist Raz Simone who had been part of the chaotic, exciting, and growing demonstrations and was asked to try to do something to help protect the abandoned East Precinct:

“Raz, I just got word that 4 people just broke the door at SPD and entered the building,” said a Scoggins text to Simone.

“A way to keep SPD out of the space is secure that building during the protest. Can you guys work with us on that?” Scoggins asked.

But despite former Chief Carmen Best’s new job with NBC, KING did not add much to the question at the center of how CHOP formed and grew on Capitol Hill in the first place — who ordered the abandonment of the East Precinct?

On Friday, May 29th, protests begin in Seattle after the police killing of George Floyd as thousands marched and demonstrated. Windows were smashed at Capitol Hill’s Amazon grocery and Ferrari dealership and seven arrests were reported. As the protests grew through the city, on Wednesday, June 3rd a “Defund Seattle Police” rally began in Cal Anderson after a battle of tear gas and blast balls as police moved on demonstrators and National Guard troops joined the lines with police outside the East Precinct. The next day, the city began bowing to protest demands, lifting its curfew as demonstrations continued. Cal Anderson continued to grow as a center of the ongoing protests and a battle line of sorts emerges at 11th and Pine. Clashes continued and on Saturday, June 6th Seattle City Council members joined the protest. Sunday, after the mayor’s speech on deescalation of the ongoing protest clashes between demonstrators and police, SPD responds with its strongest show of force yet in the “standoff” at 11th and Pine. That Sunday night, a man drives into the crowd at 11th and Pine and shoots a demonstrator. Nikolas Fernandez, the brother of an East Precinct cop, will be arrested and charged with one count of first degree assault. On Monday, June 8th, moving trucks arrived at the East Precinct as city officials said there were credible threats of arson targeting the building identified by the FBI. On Tuesday, June 9th, the Capitol Hill Autonomous Zone forms around an emptied East Precinct

The KING 5 report provides some color behind the chaos of the situation: Continue reading

Capitol Hill auto garage in CHOP 911 controversy leaving 12th Ave as development moves forward

(Image: CHS)

With reporting by Gabrielle Locke

A longtime 12th Ave small business that ended up playing an outsized role in the summer’s Capitol Hill occupied protest zone is closing shop and leaving the neighborhood — a move that will be viewed through the prism of months of protests but that has been in the works for years as part of a multimillion dollar land and development deal.

In 1999, John McDermott and Russell Kimble bought Car Tender, a Capitol Hill auto repair garage on 12th Ave at E Olive St.

“We have our craft and we do enjoy that but, like everything, it has its challenges. What we enjoy the most is helping people,” Kimble tells CHS. After 49 years of serving the Capitol Hill community, Car Tender is relocating to Shoreline. “Our move has been coming for a long time because our property sold, so moving has always been the plan,” Kimble said.

The business has been servicing European cars including BMW, Volkswagen, Volvo, Mercedes-Benz, Jaguar, Land Rover, and others, in the city since 1971.

In 2016, the garage partners bought the property where their business was located in a $7.6 million deal. Two years later with early development planning in place, the property was sold to developer Mack Real Estate Group for $10.2 million. Continue reading