UPDATE: Seattle agrees to pay business owners $3.65 million to settle lawsuit. Read more.
SEATTLE – What seemed inevitable at the time has now come to fruition. The City of Seattle shirked its duty by allowing “CHOP/CHAZ” autonomous zones during mass rebellion in 2020 and has settled a lawsuit with business owners who said the destructive chaos tolerated by city leaders caused damage to their properties and businesses.
CHOP (Capitol Hill Occupied Protest) / CHAZ (Capitol Hill Autonomous Zone) were established June 8, 2020, by criminals after Seattle police were ordered to abandon the department’s East Precinct during riots in the wake of the death of George Floyd in May of that year.
The armed zone occupiers — Antifa and BLM groups — would not allow first responders into the area. Consequently, mayhem became the norm as rapes, robberies, and murders spiked 250 percent in the area during the occupation, the Post Millennial reported.
City leaders did not allow law enforcement authorities to dismantle CHOP/CHAZ until July 1, 2020, after two fatal shootings and rioters vandalized the private residence of Jenny Durkan, who was mayor of the city at the time.
It what was readily apparent to anyone with a level of decency, and business owners later affirmed in the lawsuit, that CHOP/CHAZ occupiers violated their constitutional rights and caused damage to their properties, which led to the civil action against the city for allowing the illegal occupation.
On Wednesday, the Seattle City Attorney’s Office filed a notice of settlement in U.S. District Court for the Western District of Washington. However, the notice did not contain a settlement amount or specific details.
The group of plaintiff business owners were seeking $2.9 million in damages from the city, which appears to be a reasonable sum considering the mayhem that was allowed to fester. The settlement is expected to be completed by March 10, at which point the complaining parties will reportedly move to dismiss the case, according to the news outlet.
News of the settlement comes just weeks after a federal judge imposed sanctions against the city for deleting thousands of text messages between Seattle leaders, including former Mayor Durkan, former Police Chief Carmen Best, and Fire Chief Harold Scoggins during the armed occupation.