Story at a glance
- After weeks of protests following the death of George Floyd at the hands of Minneapolis police, Seattle demonstrators successfully ousted some law enforcement personnel from the Seattle Police Department’s East Precinct on Monday, forcing them to barricade the building.
- President Trump on Friday slammed Mayor Durkan for her comments on Twitter.
- On Friday morning, Seattle Police Chief Carmen Best said she supports free speech, but said she was “very angry about the situation.”
Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan (D) said Thursday she’s not sure just how long the city’s “Capitol Hill Autonomous Zone,” or CHAZ, will remain in place.
After weeks of protests following the death of George Floyd at the hands of Minneapolis police, Seattle demonstrators successfully ousted some law enforcement personnel from the Seattle Police Department’s East Precinct on Monday, forcing them to barricade the building.
Several city blocks in the area have been taken over by protesters and deemed a police-free zone. A wide range of demands have been raised by demonstrators, including defunding the police, Durkan’s resignation, using the funds to invest in community health and services and dropping charges against protesters.
CNN’s Chris Cuomo on Thursday asked the city’s mayor how long CHAZ will remain in place.
“I don’t know. We could have a summer of love,” Durkan responded.
Cuomo asked the mayor to tell that to the police who have been pushed out of the precinct.
“The police will be policing there, I want to be very clear on that … our chief of police was in there assessing today. … We take public safety very seriously, we met with businesses and residents today. We don’t have to sacrifice public safety for First Amendment rights. Both can exist and we’ll make sure both exist in Seattle,” Durkan said.
President Trump on Friday slammed Durkan for her comments on Twitter.
“Seattle Mayor says, about the anarchists takeover of her city, ‘it is a Summer of Love’. These Liberal Dems don’t have a clue,” Trump tweeted. “The terrorists burn and pillage our cities, and they think it is just wonderful, even the death. Must end this Seattle takeover now!”
Trump criticized Durkan and Washington Gov. Jay Inslee (D) for their handling of CHAZ.
On Friday morning, Seattle Police Chief Carmen Best said she supports free speech, but said she was “very angry about the situation.”
“I think that officers need to be able to function and form from the precinct,” Best told ABC’s “Good Morning America.” “It makes good sense we do our job effectively and — while I support First Amendment free speech — this is not that and we need to make sure we are working to get officers back in and to peaceably resolve the issues outstanding.”
The police chief also clarified that the precinct was not abandoned, but that some personnel were removed for a short period of time.
“We’re currently working to get our officers back into the facility. We think it’s really important that we have a police presence there and that we’re able to continue to do our work so, again, we did not abandon the precinct,” she said.
READ MORE ABOUT THE GEORGE FLOYD PROTESTS