Tuesday, February 21, 2023

Seattle Pays the Price for "Chop"

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Remember CHOP?

Former Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan called it a "summer of love."

Most of us saw it as a shining example of inept leadership, and far-left governance.

The city of Seattle has settled a lawsuit filed by more than a dozen businesses, led by Seattle developer Hunters Capital, all located in and around the eight-block area that became known as the Capitol Hill Organized Protest zone, or CHOP.

The city has also paid the Seattle Times for deleting important emails between city leaders during the time "CHOP" was happening.

Actions have consequences. 

The city of Seattle is showing the world what the "consequences" of far-left progressivism look like.

Be informed, not misled.

The profile of progressivism.

CHOP grew out of protests over the May 2020 murder of George Floyd by police in Minneapolis, a killing that brought about a reckoning in Seattle and nationwide. A series of clashes between Black Lives Matter protesters and police prompted Seattle officials to withdraw officers from the East Precinct on Capitol Hill, and thousands of people flooded the area surrounding nearby Cal Anderson Park. Roads were blocked off— with help from the city,— and encampments sprang up in the park.

Meanwhile, complaints arose from residents and from some local businesses that said they were cut off from customers, who were inconvenienced or intimidated by the gathering and lack of law-enforcement protection.

It was chaos.

These businesses alleged in the June 2020 lawsuit that their civil rights were violated by the city’s decision not to disband the protest zone and, in some ways, help keep it alive by providing street barricades and sanitation stations.

Also, yielding to the protestor's demands, the city withdrew the police.

Although gunshots were common in CHOP, only after two people were shot and killed in the CHOP zone did the city take action to shut it down.

Other victims of CHOP have also sued the city, including the father of a 16-year-old shot and killed in the zone and the mother of a 19-year-old man also fatally shot.

Seattle has now settled some of the lawsuits over the city’s failure to put an end to the Capitol Hill Occupied Protest (CHOP) zone. They have agreed to pay a total of $3.65 million to more than a dozen local businesses and citizens who filed the suit, according to the Seattle Times.

More civil suites have been or will be filed.

KING 5 News reported Friday:

The City of Seattle will pay Capitol Hill residents and businesses $3.6 million to settle a lawsuit brought on over how the city handled the CHOP protest zone in 2020.

In a statement, plaintiff Attorney Angelo Calfo said residents and businesses will be "compensated for the city's mishandling of CHOP that resulted in a significant increase in crime and even loss of life." Additionally, Calfo said the lawsuit exposed a cover-up that high-ranking officials destroyed text communications.

While the Seattle Times continues to describe CHOP as "mostly peaceful," the newspaper also sued the city for the destruction of emails between city leaders while making their decisions regarding how they should respond to CHOP.

The Seattle Times specifically sued the city over former Mayor Durkan’s missing texts, settling the lawsuit for $200,000 and a promise by the city to improve its public records process.

About the destroyed text messages. 

U.S. District Judge Thomas Zilly concluded last month that officials ignored the notifications, sending the  Hunters Capital lawsuit to trial on two of five claims and dismissing three others. In doing so, Zilly issued a blistering order that leveled crippling sanctions against the city for the deletion of tens of thousands of text messages from city phones sent between former Mayor Jenny Durkan, former police Chief Carmen Best, fire Chief Harold Scoggins, and four other ranking city officials during the protests.

The judge found significant evidence that the destruction of CHOP evidence was intentional and that officials tried for months to hide the text deletions from opposing attorneys.

He also ordered the city to pay the attorneys fees for those who showed city leaders destroyed significant evidence about their decision-making during CHOP, including their move to abandon the Police Department’s East Precinct.

“The Court finds substantial circumstantial evidence that the city acted with the requisite intent necessary to impose a severe sanction and that the city’s conduct exceeds gross negligence,” Zilly wrote.

KING 5 said,  "In October, an Office of Inspector General report identified critical errors by the city and Seattle Police Department leading up to and during CHOP. The report found some of their decisions "eroded public trust" and led to "poor policing outcomes."

27 of the top 30 crime-ridden cities are run by progressive Democrats.

A new report shows that Democrat policies in cities and counties are responsible for rising crime rates in “their otherwise red states.”

The Heritage Foundation released a 19-page report titled, “The Blue City Murder Problem” last fall that includes an analysis of crime data and explores who is responsible for rising crime throughout the U.S. 

As of June 2022, the top three cities with the highest homicide rates include Chicago, with 304 homicides; Philadelphia, with 240 homicides; and New York, with 197 homicides, the report said.

The report also highlighted that 27 of the top 30 cities with the highest murder rates as of June 2022 were run by Democratic mayors, except for Lexington, Kentucky, and Jacksonville, Florida, which are run by Republican mayors, and Las Vegas, which has an independent mayor.

More specifically, 14 of the 30 cities with the highest murder rates have “[George] Soros-backed or Soros-inspired rogue prosecutors,” the report said.

There were 2,554 homicides in those 30 cities through June 2022. In the 14 cities with Soros-backed rogue prosecutors, there were 1,752 homicides, representing 68% of homicides in the 30 top homicide cities in the United States,” the report said.

Hillary Clinton, and other progressives, love to make the claim that "Red States have a murder problem."

However when you remove the crime-infested, homicide-infested cities run by progressives from the Red States you dramatically lower the crime rate for that state.


San Franciscan London Breed says, "In San Francisco, we strive to be a beacon of progressivism for the rest of the country and the world, whether it is leading the way on gay marriage, immigrants' rights, or combating climate change."

Matt Fleming wrote an interesting article in California's Orange County Register in which he says, "Too often progressive politicians implement bad economic policies for the sake of justice or equality or equity or whatever is the buzzword of the week, yet they simply end up hurting those they claim to help while advancing their own political careers."

Allen West has said, "Liberal progressivism evolved after our Constitution. It has repeatedly failed all over the world so why do we think it could be successful here in the United States of America?"

Welcome to Seattle. And Portland. And San Francisco. And Los Angles. And...

Be Informed. Be Discerning. Be Vigilant. Be Engaged. Be Prayerful. Be Faithful.