Another shooting at Seattle’s protest ‘autonomous zone’

By Mike Baker

Another night of gunfire at Seattle’s protester-led “au- tonomous zone” sent one person to the hospital with injuries, the second round of gun violence over the weekend in an area where officers had pulled out of the police station.

Susan Gregg, a spokeswoman at Harborview Medical Center, said one person who had been shot in or near the zone was brought by private vehicle for treatment late Sunday. The victim was in serious condition, Gregg said. The Seattle Police Department said it was investigating a reported shoot- ing inside the zone.

On Saturday morning, separate shootings left a 19-year- old man dead and another in critical condition.

The zone was declared this month in the wake of clashes between protesters and police after the death of George Floyd, a Black man whose death in police custody in Minneapolis touched off protests around the globe.

The city decided to board up its police station in the neighborhood in hopes of deescalating tensions after several nights of standoffs in the streets.

Since then, protesters have operated across several blocks they have variously labeled the “Capitol Hill Autono- mous Zone” and the “Capitol Hill Organized Protest.” During the day, the territory has had a festival-like atmosphere, with

speeches, music, art and a co-op that provides free food and supplies.

But the city has found in meetings with businesses and residents in the area around Cal Anderson Park that the situa- tion in the neighborhood has become more dangerous at night, said Kelsey Nyland, a spokeswoman for Mayor Jenny Durkan.

Durkan said she was working with different groups to focus on deescalation strategies in the neighborhood.

“In the coming days, I believe together we can create a Capitol Hill environment that allows for peaceful demon- strations at Cal Anderson, quality of life for residents, and take concrete steps towards a new vision for policing in our city,” she said.

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