While Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan (D) has described the six-block “Capitol Hill Autonomous Zone” (CHAZ) in the city as being “more like a block party” with the potential to turn into a “summer of love” than an “armed takeover” or “military junta,” Seattle’s police chief is painting a much different and far more troubling picture of what’s happening when news cameras aren’t rolling.

Police chief Carmen Best released a video statement to her officers on Thursday, telling them the decision to abandon the East Precinct, which is the base for the CHAZ, was out of her control. She stated that “to have a change of course nearly two weeks in” was like “an insult” to the officers and to the community, but that “ultimately the city had other plans.”

Best also talked about the reports of armed protesters patrolling the zone, the alleged shakedowns of local businesses, the alleged demands for people to show IDs, and the alleged threats to burn down the police precinct.

Watch:

She also said Thursday to reporters that police were not able to respond quickly to 911 calls for violent crimes including rapes in the area because of the zone barriers:

“Our calls for service have more than tripled,” she told reporters. “These are responses to emergency calls — rapes, robberies, and all sorts of violent acts that have been occurring in the area that we’re not able to get to.”

At the press conference with Durkan, who claimed the occupants of the “Capitol Hill Autonomous Zone” (CHAZ) were engaging in an act of “patriotism,” Best remained noncommittal on a when police might return to the area, but explained that the evacuation had come after reports the precinct could be burned down.

“We were asked to do an operational plan, in case we needed to leave,” Best said, not saying who exactly gave the order to withdraw. “We got an update that there was the potential for fire — of course if the precinct goes down in fire, the whole block could potentially burn up.”

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Best told a local news station Friday that the goal was for police to take back the precinct ASAP without harm coming to any of the officer or occupiers:

Seattle protesters continued their fourth day occupying the blocks around an abandoned police precinct Friday, as the city’s top cop said she wants back inside “as soon as possible.”

“Ideally, we just need to get back into the building,” Seattle Police Chief Carmen Best told local station KIRO-7.

“People are looking for a plan, but we want to make sure we modulate anything that we’re doing,” Best told the station.

“We don’t want to exacerbate or intensify or incite problems that are going to lead to harm to the officers or the people who are standing by,” she added.

The power dynamic here is especially interesting, considering the alleged racial basis for the hostile takeover by radical Black Lives Matter and other activists to begin with. The police chief is black and wants to be more aggressive in taking back the precinct (and, in effect, the city), but Mayor Durkan and Washington Gov. Jay Inslee, both of whom are white, appear to be overruling her at every turn and making ridiculous statements to the media sugarcoating what’s happening at the CHAZ.

This is like Occupy Wall Street all over again, and it’s dangerous. What’s happening in Seattle in the “autonomous zone” is not a First Amendment-protected protest. Media outlets like CNN and MSNBC and Democratic “leaders” like Durkan and Inslee need to stop gaslighting America as to what’s going on. It’s straight-up anarchy, is anything but “peaceful” once the cameras are turned off, and should not be allowed to go on.

They need to treat this situation just as they would if it were Tea Partiers or Reopen marchers taking over six blocks of an American city: Shut it down in the safest way possible, and soon.

— Stacey Matthews has also written under the pseudonym “Sister Toldjah” and can be reached via Twitter. —

 

 
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