CHOP has fallen.
The "Capitol Hill Organized Protest" zone known as CHOP occupied six city blocks for more than three weeks. That area, along with the East Precinct, are now in the hands of Seattle Police. As of Wednesday morning, the only people allowed inside the CHOP boundaries were residents, business owners and officers.
Police arrested at least 44 people while officers evacuated the CHOP zone and Cal Anderson Park.
“No, I don’t think anyone has won anything out of this I think we’ve actually lost,” said Capitol Hill business owner Faizel Khan. "I think we’ve lost a mayor. We’ve lost a city council person. We’ve lost residents. We’ve lost small businesses. We’ve lost the Black Lives Matter movement.”
Khan never closed his coffee shop, but did see his neighbors board up and said some even shut down.
Several residents and business owners filed a class action lawsuit accusing city officials of being complicit in depriving their rights to their property.
The mood at the CHOP shifted significantly after four shootings in 10 days. A 16-year-old and a 19-year-old died in the shootings and four other people were shot, including a 14-year-old boy.
“The loss of life for children is the worst part of it,” Khan said.
Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan spoke Wednesday after the CHOP zone was dismantled. “Deteriorating conditions and repeated gun violence required us to immediately address public safety concerns."
Residents and shop owners near the CHOP expressed their concerns about noise and violence since the area took shape. Many would only speak on the condition of anonymity for fear of retribution.
“It seems like we're supposed to sacrifice our piece of mind, our safety, for this movement and that doesn’t seem fare,” said one woman last week.
While the area formerly known as CHOP remains closed to the public, it's now occupied by new leadership of the Seattle police.