The city of Seattle, Washington, has agreed to settle a lawsuit filed by over a dozen residents and business owners, who sued the city over their disastrous handling of the 2020 “autonomous zone.”
The lawsuit was filed in June 2020, in the midst of the deadly riots and the illegal occupation of Seattle’s Capitol Hill by left-wing radicals — which the activists initially labeled the “CHAZ” or “Capitol Hill Autonomous Zone,” but later renamed it “CHOP” or the “Capitol Hill Occupied Protest.”
“More than a dozen businesses inside CHOP zone, on Seattle’s Capitol Hill, file 56-page class action lawsuit against the City of Seattle. They’re seeking unspecified damages, to be determined at trial,” tweeted Seattle news anchor Preston Phillips, sharing images of the lawsuit documents.
DEVELOPING: More than a dozen businesses inside CHOP zone, on Seattle's Capitol Hill, file 56-page class action lawsuit against the City of Seattle. They're seeking unspecified damages, to be determined at trial. pic.twitter.com/RPlsW3DuNv
— Preston Phillips 🇺🇸 (@PrestonTVNews) June 25, 2020
The lawsuit blamed the city government for abandoning the residents and business owners in the area.
“This lawsuit is about the constitutional and other legal rights of Plaintiffs—businesses, employees, and residents in and around CHOP—which have been overrun by the City of Seattle’s unprecedented decision to abandon and close off an entire city neighborhood, leaving it unchecked by the police, unserved by fire and emergency health services, and inaccessible to the public at large.”
“The City’s decision has subjected businesses, employees, and residents of that neighborhood to extensive property damage, public safety dangers, and an inability to use and access their properties,” the lawsuit continued.
In discussing the city’s decision to settle, attorney Angelo Calfo revealed that the businesses and residents in the affected area will “now be compensated for the City’s mishandling of CHOP that resulted in a significant increase in crime and even loss of life.”
Nearly three years after the “autonomous zone” radicals devastated the area, the city is finally paying the victims a total of $3.65 million — which includes $600,000 in penalties due to the mishandling and attempted coverup by city leaders.
In 2020, rioters took over the Seattle police department’s east precinct, resisting police officers and preventing them from entering the “autonomous zone.”
Antifa and BLM rioters attacked the Seattle East Precinct, the same police station that was attacked in May when CHAZ was established. pic.twitter.com/pBElhorUi3
— Andy Ngô 🏳️🌈 (@MrAndyNgo) July 20, 2020
The left-wing radicals’ illegal occupation received national attention, especially due to the fatal shootings that occurred in the area. One of the victims of these shootings was a 16-year-old boy.
Teen, 16, dies & 14-year-old is wounded after Seattle antifa/BLM CHAZ security fire shots into their car. Video shows a man yelling, “You're not dead yet?” Police are trying to investigate but the crime scene had been tampered with. https://t.co/DkKXfSrYEK
— Andy Ngô 🏳️🌈 (@MrAndyNgo) June 29, 2020
These rioters also released a list of demands aimed at city officials, including calling for abolishing imprisonment and releasing any person incarcerated for incidents involving marijuana.
Meanwhile, Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan (D) was too busy attacking former President Donald Trump on Twitter to actually address the matter — even claiming that the city was just experiencing a “summer of love.”
“The CHOP was set up in Seattle on June 8. Mayor Jenny Durkan was busy trolling Trump on Twitter and talking about a ‘summer of love.’ She only decided to break it up when the mob came to her house four shootings and the death of a 16-year-old later,” conservative commentator Greg Price wrote.
The CHOP was set up in Seattle on June 8. Mayor Jenny Durkan was busy trolling Trump on Twitter and talking about a "summer of love." She only decided to break it up when the mob came to her house four shootings and the death of a 16-year-old later.
— Greg Price (@greg_price11) July 1, 2020
The police finally cleared the “autonomous zone” on July 1, 2020, ending the illegal and violent occupation.
Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan’s ANTIFA evolution: Summer of Love’ —> ‘Summer of Rioting’ —> ‘Summer of Murder’ —> ‘Summer of Eviction’ pic.twitter.com/o3H6Ji5ae3
— ForAmerica (@ForAmerica) July 1, 2020
In the days after the ending of the “CHOP,” and during the ensuing investigation, it was discovered that the Seattle mayor and former Police Chief Carmen Best had deleted thousands of text messages about the occupation and their efforts to cover up the situation.
“As the federal court judge found, our clients’ lawsuit exposed the cover-up of its highest-ranking officials who destroyed their text communications with each other,” Calfo said.
Business owners and residents of the area, who were intimidated by the rioters and were unable to properly operate their businesses, have held the city responsible for the violence and destruction.
City attorney Anne Davison released a statement about the lawsuit settlement, noting that she is “pleased that we were able to resolve this matter and turn a page from a difficult period in the city’s history.”