Concrete barriers were placed around the Seattle, Washington, protest zone known as CHAZ (Capitol Hill Autonomous Zone) on Tuesday.
“Tuesday morning, the Seattle Department of Transportation added concrete barriers to the edges of the six-nine block protest zone surrounding the abandoned SPD East Precinct, a sign that the city could be letting the protesters stay long-term,” according to Q13 Fox.
The barriers were meant to prevent cars from driving through groups of protesters while also leaving a travel lane for emergency vehicles, the report noted.
Q13 Fox reporter Omar Lewis tweeted video footage of the barriers encased in wood:
— Omar Lewis (@OmarLewisTv) June 16, 2020
Seattle Police Chief Carmen Best on Monday said there were no no-police response areas in the city but the barricades around CHAZ prevented officers from responding quickly and efficiently.
When it comes to that particular area, we have — if we get a call, there’s an important emergency, a 911 call, we’re going in. We’re going to do our job. I have a list of reports we’ve taken already. But we also have to be considerate of the delicate situation that we have there. The last thing, the last thing I want to do is have any issue of violence occur in the area. So, we’re being very judicial about how we do it — judicious, I mean, about how we do it and how we go in.
“I’m not thrilled about the situation, but we recognize too that we have to make sure that we protect everyone’s safety, ultimately, in this situation,” Best continued.
At the White House Monday, President Trump told reporters that he and Attorney General William Barr had discussed what actions could be taken against the far-left protesters who occupied several blocks of the Seattle neighborhood.
“You have a governor who doesn’t do a damned thing about it, and you have a mayor that doesn’t know she is alive. If they don’t do the job, I will do the job,” the president said.
In response, Mayor Jenny Durkan (D) accused the president of doing anything to “avoid listening to the voices of millions of Americans asking for change”:
Our President will do anything to avoid listening to the voices of millions of Americans asking for change. He instead distracts with lies and language purposefully intended to incite violence. He thrives on division when we desperately need to move forward as a nation. https://t.co/xDMnjmrNKA
— Mayor Jenny Durkan (@MayorJenny) June 16, 2020