Several Capitol Hill business owners and residents have sued the City for denying them property rights by allowing activists to block off the streets in a section of Capitol Hill, limiting access by emergency responders and the public.
A number of shootings have occurred in the Capitol Hill Occupied Protest, resulting in at least two deaths. The City abandoned the East Police Precinct, which is now boarded up and covered with graffiti. The plaintiffs complain the City is responsible for the lack of fire, police and emergency health services in the area. They stressed that their intent is not to undermine protests against police violence and the Black Lives Matter movement represented in the protest zone. Read the complaint here.
The suit is filed in U.S. District Court and seeks unspecified damages. The zone encompasses the area around East Pine Street and 11th Avenue East. Mayor Jenny Durkan and Police Chief Carmen Best have stated the City intent to reoccupy the abandoned police station.
As of this writing, it is unclear how long it will be before police return to the East Precinct and whether Durkan can achieve a peaceful reopening of the area to normal vehicular and pedestrian traffic. Read more.
Sources include Seattle Times, KING 5 TV