The owner of a business on the cusp of Seattle's so-called “Capitol Hill Organized Protest” zone - or "CHOP" - said he called 911 to report a burglary in progress, but no one showed up.
“We’re just trying to run a small business, make a living, be good members of society. And try to be good neighbors to the neighborhood and I think we’ve really been let down by the mayor’s office, the Seattle Police Department and the fire department,” said John McDermott, a co-owner of Car Tender on Capitol Hill.
McDermott said early Monday morning he was alerted that his repair shop was being broken into. McDermott and his son drove to the scene while on the phone with 911.
“There were no police officers on scene ever. And I was here all night long,” he said.
McDermott and his son detained the burglar and were able to put out the fire themselves, but eventually, let the man go. A video, live-streamed online, shows a mob of protesters from the CHOP taking custody of the man and searching him – they also let him go.
“Reportedly, the way the dispatcher was speaking, there was supposedly someone in route, nobody showed up,” McDermott added.
On Monday morning, a KING 5 news crew went inside the CHOP, initially called "CHAZ" for the "Capitol Hill Autonomous Zone," and asked organizers to speak on camera. A representative named Malcolm said this is a failure of the police.
“It tells me that they’re (police) not listening. Maybe. Maybe they are trying to send a message, you know. ‘You guys don’t want the police here, why call us? Call the people that are within the community. That’s how I look at it,” said Malcolm.
When asked about the situation directly Monday afternoon, Seattle Police Chief Carmen Best said her officers didn’t have a good contact number for the business owner. In an email, an SPD spokesperson said a police report was taken of the incident.
Chief Best added that police will only respond inside the boundaries of the CHOP if there is a direct threat to life and safety.