comScore Mayor Jenny Durkan Defends Seattle's CHAZ Region

Seattle Mayor Defends Lawless CHAZ Region as Police Chief Warns of ‘Rapes, Robberies’ in the Area

Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan told CNN Thursday that she’s hoping for a “summer of love” in the city’s police-free Capitol Hill Autonomous Zone, despite the Seattle police chief’s assessment that “all sorts of violent acts” have been taking place.

“I don’t know, we could have the summer of love,” Durkan told CNN’s Chris Cuomo, responding to a question about how long the situation may persist. Cuomo chuckled, “Well, tell that to the police who were supposed to be in that precinct.”

Seattle police abandoned Capitol Hill’s East Precinct building during protests over George Floyd’s death. Seattle Police Chief Carmen Best visited the area on Thursday, but said, “911 response times have tripled in the area … rapes, robberies, and all sorts of violent acts have been occurring in the area, and we’re not able to get to it.”

Addressing officers, Best condemned the city’s decision to abandon the building but did not say who gave the order. “You should know, leaving the precinct was not my decision. You fought for days to protect it. 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. Then to have a change of course nearly two weeks in, it seems like an insult to you and our community.”

Durkan insisted that law enforcement would be in the area, but did not elaborate. “The police will be policing in 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 don’t have to sacrifice public safety for First Amendment rights.”

Watch above via CNN.

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