Seattle officials have reportedly reached an agreement with protesters occupying a portion of the city’s Capitol Hill neighborhood and will replace the temporary roadblocks put in place by the “Capitol Hill Organized Protest” with concrete barriers.
The barriers will split the road for pedestrian and vehicle traffic, allowing emergency service vehicles to pass through the area.
Seattle Fire Chief Harold Scoggins, the Seattle Department of Transportation and Seattle Public Utilities confirmed the agreement to replace the wooden barriers to Fox News.
The Seattle Police Department is not part of the concrete barrier installation.
With the installation of the new barriers, the occupied area will be reduced from six or seven city blocks to three.
Organizers renamed the area that was previously called the Capitol Hill Autonomous Zone on Saturday.
“This is not an autonomous zone, we are not trying to secede from the United States and we have no means to try to detract from the conditions that this nation works,” one man told reporters in a video released on Twitter, calling the area “CHOP.”
The barrier agreement comes after the City Council voted unanimously on Monday to ban police use of tear gas, pepper spray and other crowd control devices, KCPQ-TV reported.
BREAKING: Seattle City Council just unanimously voted to ban the city from owning and using crowd-control methods like tear gas and blast balls, which have been used on protesters the past couple of weeks. #Q13FOX pic.twitter.com/ZdLsvpV0bD
— Simone Del Rosario (@SimoneReports) June 16, 2020
Seattle Police Department officers were also banned from using chokeholds to restrain people.
“Many of us have witnessed it; many of us have experienced it,” said Council Member Kshama Sawant, who sponsored the legislation. “They falsely claimed that the protesters were violent rioters and that they had no alternative. … They even attempted to maintain those lies in the face of videos showing the police were the source — and the sole source — of the violence.”
Sawant, a self-described socialist, helped protesters take over City Hall on Wednesday night as they set up the Capitol Hill Autonomous Zone.
Seattle police have pulled back from the neighborhood and abandoned the department’s East Precinct.
Protesters painted over the word “Police” on the building and replaced it with “People.”
Seattle Police Chief Carmen Best blamed the takeover on city officials.
“You fought for days to protect it,” Best told her officers in a video released last week. “I asked you to stand on that line, day in and day out — to be pelted with projectiles, to be screamed at, threatened and in some cases hurt.
“Ultimately, the city had other plans for the building and relented to severe public pressure.”
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