Seattle’s Capitol Hill Occupied Protest — or CHOP, or CHAZ, depending on when you were referring to it — is no more.
CHOP, originally occupied by leftists nominally protesting the death of George Floyd on June 8, was taken down on Wednesday after yet another shooting. I guess it was never “like a block party,” as Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan, a Democrat, called it. The barricades are down. The police are back the city’s East Precinct building.
The “summer of love” CHOP was supposed to engender (also Durkan, apparently spectacularly bad at predictions) is over.
Disheartened by the fact that it had turned into a lawless Coachella, the more strident protesters at the camp were asking the tourist types: “Why are you here?” All of a sudden, they weren’t. In its later days, CHOP was almost deserted. Two shootings had scared away most of the visitors who were treating it like that aforementioned block party. When the scales fell from their eyes and they realized a police-free world would be like, they quickly realized it was more dystopian than utopian.
The Seattle Times‘ Brendan Kiley, having reported on this state of affairs and picked out the writing on the wall of where it was all going from all of the other writing on all of the other walls, considered what the protest’s legacy would be.
How about this: President Trump called the father of a black 19-year-old killed in CHOP, but the mayor of Seattle hadn’t bothered as of Friday.
According to KCPQ-TV, the father of Horace Lorenzo Anderson Jr. received a call from the president late last week. Mayor Durkan apparently has a lot more on her plate.
“Incredibly, Donald Trump called me,” Horace Lorenzo Anderson Sr. told the station Thursday. “The president of the United States called me today. He gave his condolences, and me, I’m not a political guy. I told him, ‘Nobody like you.’ I’m real. Donald Trump called me and he didn’t have to call me.”
As for Durkan? Nothing, as previously stated.
“It’s like they didn’t care, it didn’t matter. I haven’t heard from the mayor, I haven’t heard from the police department. No city. Nobody,” Anderson Sr. said during an appearance Wednesday on host Sean Hannity’s show on Fox News.
“It’s like they didn’t care, it didn’t matter. I haven’t heard from the mayor, I haven’t heard from the police department, not from no city – nobody.”
Mr. Anderson says no gov’t official reached out to him to offer their condolences for the death of his son in Seattle’s CHOP. pic.twitter.com/UHapAS3v4T
— Washington Examiner (@dcexaminer) July 2, 2020
He had some other choice words for Durkan, given the fact that Seattle’s police and paramedics couldn’t get to Anderson Jr. where he was shot, which was on the fringes of CHOP.
“My son, he needed help,” Anderson Sr. said.
Seattle police say they couldn’t make it there because of the danger that the protest posed. Thus, volunteer medics had to transport Anderson Jr. to the hospital instead.
Anderson Sr. said “they shouldn’t be picking kids up and throwing them in their trunk and taking them to the hospital. The paramedics should have been there. The police should have been there.”
In his appearance on “Hannity,” Anderson Sr. managed to touch on a certain incongruity with the protests and what happened to his son.
“I understand Black Lives Matter and everything that’s going on,” Anderson Sr. said. “But that’s not my movement right now. My movement is [to] let them know that was my son.”
But that’s the thing — his black life didn’t matter. All life was expendable to politicians in Seattle because CHOP was considered off-limits.
CHOP only got taken down when the political pressure from the left to give protesters everything they wanted — including the right to take over a six-block zone in a major American city — had subsided substantially. It had subsided, in no small part, because of the violent crime within CHOP.
We didn’t need to experience that crime, however, to come to the conclusion that this kind of crime was going to happen. The a posteriori was unnecessary; we could have made the a priori argument that we can’t have a “autonomous zone” where it’s “like a block party” without police without the near certainty it would draw crime in like iron filings to a magnet.
To top it all off, the president of the United States gave Anderson Sr. a call to express his sympathies — unnecessary, but a nice gesture nonetheless. Meanwhile, the mayor of the city where Anderson Jr. was killed can’t bother to give him a ring.
CHOP ought to be the requiem for Mayor Durkan’s career. She didn’t care enough for anyone’s life to shut down the protest zone before it was too late. It may have ended with a whimper, but sadly, there were too many bangs along the way.
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