Seattle Police were investigating another slaying of a black teen in the city’s Capitol Hill Occupied Protest (CHOP) zone, an irony since the six-block area seized by protesters three weeks ago ostensibly was occupied by people contending that “Black Lives Matter.”
But one 16-year-old is dead and a 14-year-old was clinging to life Monday afternoon following the early-morning shooting. Details are emerging, but it alleged that someone opened fire from a Jeep and self-appointed CHOP armed security returned fire. Seattle Police Chief Carmen Best would only say during a press conference that “people had been in and out of the car after the shooting.”
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Both victims were transported to the hospital and the 16-year-old died later.
According to KATU and KOMO News reports, the vehicle was a Jeep Cherokee and it was riddled with bullet holes. It is not clear what instigated the early morning shooting.
The 14-year-old is also black, according to the Daily Mail. That news agency said protesters occupying the CHOP zone claim the people inside the Jeep opened fire and that they only returned fire. Since the CHOP zone was occupied, it has been patrolled by armed individuals claiming to be “security.” They have been variously described as “vigilantes” and anarchists.
The Daily Mail noted, “Members of CHOP security openly carry around pistols and other weapons. One member has previously been seen brandishing an AK-47.” Washington is an “open carry” state that protects the right to bear arms in its state constitution.
According to KOMO, possible witnesses are “not being cooperative with our requests for help,” police said.
This is the second slaying in nine days in the CHOP, and the fifth shooting.
The first fatality was a 19-year-old killed on June 20. Seattle police have not been able to make any arrests in any of the shootings.
It is not clear if any firearms were found in the Jeep by investigators. So far, none have been mention ed.
But the irony is overwhelming. The 19-year-old was also black, so the CHOP mission does not appear to be successful.
Best told reporters Monday, “Enough is enough.”
But Seattle officials have been slow in re-taking the CHOP zone, and critics are accusing Mayor Jenny Durkan of being incompetent in her handling of the situation.
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