We’re still missing a lot of details about the shooting at the self-proclaimed Capitol Hill Organized Protest zone in Seattle that happened early Monday morning, but Seattle city council member Kshama Sawant thinks she’s already cracked the case. While police haven’t released any details about the suspects that shot two people, killing an 16-year old and injuring a 14-year old, Sawant is issuing a public indictment… of capitalism.
While we await details of this tragic killing, it highlights capitalism’s brutality & endemic violence. Our movement rejects insinuations & falsehoods perpetuated by corporate & conservative media that this violence is outcome of CHOP or of our movement.https://t.co/AsbMeUiRgp
— Kshama Sawant (@cmkshama) June 29, 2020
I’m pretty sure that CHOP is about as far from capitalism as you can get without getting sent to a gulag, but Sawant, a proud Socialist who’s repeatedly defended the actions of activists in seizing property and proclaiming themselves an autonomous zone, is staying on brand here. Never mind the fact that previous shootings at the site have been acts of protester-on-protester violence. Somehow, capitalism is the real villain here.
As for the insinuation that violence is the outcome of CHOP and the broader movement, methinks Sawant protests too much. I don’t think CHOP itself is meant to be a Lord of the Flies reboot set in downtown Seattle, but there have been four shootings there in the past nine days. What’s more, the Seattle squatters at CHOP haven’t exactly been cooperative with police hoping to make arrests in the shootings.
“The typical things we search for in a case like this, or in a shooting like this, weren’t there, and it was abundantly clear to our detectives — people had been in and out of the car after the shooting,” said Seattle Police Chief Carmen Best during a morning news briefing. “Detectives are trying to get information from other witnesses, but as has been the case in other crime scenes up in this area, people are not being cooperative with our requests for help.”
“We’re not sure who shot at the car or why they shot at the car,” Best said.
“Enough is enough here,” Best said Monday. “Two men are dead and a child, a 14-year-old, is hospitalized, and we don’t know what is going to happen to that kid.”
“Two African American men dead at a place where they claim to be working for Black Lives Matter. But they’re gone, they’re dead now and we’ve had multiple other incidents — assaults, rape, robbery, shootings — and so this is something that’s going to need to change,” she said.
The police chief is saying the right things, but as long as Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan continues to allow CHOP to remain in existence, there’s not much Chief Best or the Seattle Police Department can actually do to change the situation. More than a week ago Durkan announced that CHOP was going to be disbanded, yet police have still not returned to the precinct they were forced to abandon weeks ago, and there’ve been no attempts to actually dismantle CHOP, other than the mayor’s ineffectual meetings with the radicals who’ve taken over blocks of downtown.
While Sawant is blaming capitalism for the latest shooting, another city council member is pinning the blame on “unscrupulous gun dealers.” Yes, really.
Don’t blame the CHOP for the recent string of shootings in the protest zone on Seattle’s Capitol Hill.
That was the message from Seattle City Council members Lorena Gonzalez and Kshama Sawant at a council briefing Monday.
A shooting early in the morning left a 16-year-old male dead and a 14-year-old male hospitalized.
Gonzalez said gun violence is a public health epidemic across the country and Seattle is no exception.
“And this is not being caused by … a specific zone within our city,” she said. “This is, frankly, being caused by unscrupulous gun dealers who allow far too easy access to weapons that are then utilized by people in this way.”
Has Gonzalez not seen the video of CHOP leader Raz Simone handing out AR-15s to people in the CHOP without conducting a background check as required under Washington State law? Personally, I think it’s a dumb law that shouldn’t be on the books, but if Gonzalez is going to ignore what’s actually happening at CHOP in order to try to blame federally licensed firearms retailers, she needs to be called out.
Of course, we don’t actually know anything at all about the suspects in this case, but the attempts by the far-left city council members to pin the blame on everything but the individual or individuals who actually pulled the trigger makes me wonder if they don’t suspect or perhaps even have some knowledge that this crime was another case of CHOP-on-CHOP violence.