Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan’s Hellish “Summer of Love.”
July 02, 2020
June was a rough month for Seattle, Washington Mayor Jenny Durkan.
It all began on May 30, when protests over George Floyd’s death turned violent. Multiple officers and civilians were injured during the chaos, prompting Durkan to issue three emergency orders “to protect the health and safety of the people of Seattle.”
Between June 1 and June 7, clashes between protesters and police escalated. Officers used tear gas, flash bangs, and pepper spray repeatedly to disperse the crowds, even though the mayor had issued a ban on tear gas on June 05.
At one point during the protests, a man drove his vehicle into a crowd and began firing shots at them. 31-year-old Nikolas Alexander Fernandez was later arrested and charged with felony assault.
The following day, on June 08, approximately six blocks of the Capitol Hill neighborhood was overtaken and occupied by protesters after the Seattle Police Department (SPD) abandoned its Precinct.
Protesters declared it the Capitol Hill Autonomous Zone (CHAZ), later known as the Capitol Hill Occupied Protest (CHOP).
On June 9, 2020, the occupiers released a list of demands that included the abolition or defunding of police, releasing prisoners serving time for marijuana-related offenses or resisting arrest and clearing their criminal record, funding of health services, de-gentrification and rent control.
President Trump criticized the mayor and Washington Gov. Jay Inslee for mishandling the situation and for effectively allowing “domestic terrorists” to take over the city.
“Take back your city NOW. If you don’t do it, I will,” Trumped warned them. “This is not a game. These ugly Anarchists must be stooped [sic] IMMEDIATELY. MOVE FAST!”
In response, Durkan fired back at Trump on Twitter: “Make us all safe. Go back to your bunker,” she wrote, in reference to reports that Trump was moved to the White House bunker for almost an hour after protests intensified, something the president denied.
On June 12, Durkan appeared on CNN with Chris Cuomo where she mocked Trump for “not giving an accurate or truthful picture” of what was happening.
Downplaying the seriousness of the situation at CHAZ, the mayor said, “We’ve got four blocks in Seattle that you just saw pictures of, that is more like a block party atmosphere.
Durkan ensured that “It’s not an armed takeover. It’s not a military junta,” and that “there is no threat right now to the public.”
Even Cuomo appeared surprised with the mayor’s dismissive approach, and commented that, “block parties don’t take over a municipal building, let alone a police station, and destroy it.”
When asked how long the occupation would last for, Durkan responded with a baffling, “I don’t know. We could have the summer of love.”
Trump ridiculed the mayor for her statement:
”Seattle Mayor says, about the anarchists takeover of her city, ‘it is a Summer of Love’. These Liberal Dems don’t have a clue. The terrorists burn and pillage our cities, and they think it is just wonderful, even the death. Must end this Seattle takeover now!”
Seattle Mayor says, about the anarchists takeover of her city, “it is a Summer of Love”. These Liberal Dems don’t have a clue. The terrorists burn and pillage our cities, and they think it is just wonderful, even the death. Must end this Seattle takeover now!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) June 12, 2020
The CHAZ occupation nonetheless continued amid reports of rape, robberies, and other crimes.
After several shootings were reported between June 20 and June 23, which killed a 19-year old man and seriously injuring another, Durkan announced that the SPD would go back to the East Precinct “peacefully and in the near future.”
But as the confused mayor was planning her next move, more violence followed.
On June 24, a 33-year old man was shot just outside the zone. The victim claimed he may have been a target of a hate crime by “members of the KKK or Proud Boys.”
In a separate incident, a 17-year-old was shot but refused provide detectives any information.
Deadly shootings continued. On June 29, a 16-year-old boy was shot dead and a 14-year-old boy was left in critical condition due to gunshot wounds.
Calling the situation “dangerous and unacceptable,” SPD Chief Carmen Best had finally seen enough.
Best told reporters, “We need to be able to get back into the area,” which may have also finally convinced Durkan to give up her support of CHAZ by issuing an executive order for the SPD to clear the occupation and reclaim the East Precinct station.
Or perhaps the real reason why the incompetent mayor issued the executive order was because protesters marched into her very own neighborhood, which she objected to.
This is the same mayor who had earlier stated that, “One of the things [Trump] will never understand, is that listening to community is not a weakness. It is a strength.”
On July 01, the SPD carried out the mayor’s orders and cleared the occupied protest.
Had the mayor acted earlier by taking Trump’s advice, the deaths and injuries of these young people would have been avoided.
The irony is that the mayor’s pandering and pretend solidarity with Black Lives Matter, actually cost the lives of two black men.
Assaults, robberies, shootings, extortion, murder and alleged rapes are the real highlights of mayor Durkan’s “summer of love.”