All over the country heated protests turned into full-scale riots with record numbers of incidents of destruction to property and people. Many political pundits have tried to downplay the frequency with which they occurred and their severity. A particular city mayor, Jenny Durkin, said that the outbreak was “more like a block party atmosphere” than an “armed takeover.” However, there are too many victims of violence left behind to testify to the atrocities.
The most well-publicized situation, which no doubt left them Sleepless in Seattle, involved the assault of merchants in the business district there. According to Daily Caller reporters on the scene at the time, some among those protesters who set up the six block "Cop-Free Zone", CHAZ or CHOP (which stand for Capitol Hill Autonomous Zone or Capitol Hill Occupied Protest) went well beyond anyone's expectations.
A false report was spread that one of their members was being held at gunpoint in a location just outside the assumed area. The place was an auto shop called "Car Tender". The occupiers tore down the fence surrounding its lot and pushed past those who were guarding the storefront.They broke through the doors to confront the people inside despite the owners' insistant denials of the rumored cause. Then one of the angry hoard set fire to the building.
The garage's proprietor is quoted as saying:
“I can’t even get the police to show up, I can’t get the fire department to show up. I mean, I had to put the fire out myself. The fire department’s one block away. And this kind of mob stuff, that doesn’t work. I’m not doing that stuff. I caught somebody in my building with my property, so I detained him, hoping the police would show up, but they didn’t show up."
"So I detain him, trying to get him to let us frisk him to see what he had of our property still, and he wouldn’t let us frisk him. So, you’ve got all these people out here saying that we had him at gunpoint. We didn’t have him at gunpoint, there’s an attorney that was here that we let in here to make sure he was safe. That he wasn’t being hurt. And this is what I get.”
The man closed with the lament that his heart is broken for every person in America.
Another Capitol Hill resident, who would only be named as Brandon, stated:
“I’m scared. I’ve been scared every day since Sunday, and I haven’t gotten a lot of sleep. For the first time in my life in Capitol Hill, I hear gunshots every single night. I’ve heard people screaming every single night outside. And they’re not protest screams … I’ve also heard screams of terror out there, and I don’t know what’s happening out there.”
Brandon anticipated and received threats of personal harm for speaking out.
And there were numerous attacks on both professional and amatuer journalists for merely attempting to record video footage. Kalen D’Almeida, the co-founder of Scribber, said he was punched in the back of the head. He narrowly escaped with help from one conscientious CHAZ member. The assault was apparently ordered by the movement's self-appointed leader, Raz Simone, a rapper and self-described "warlord".
An independent pro-life activist used his phone to catch a clip of marchers as he walked along side. In response, the captain of the group abruptly turned to his followers and shouted, "Who doesn't matter?! This mother-f**ker!" The question turned into the crowd's chant. Then a few of the males surrounded the videographer and the lead CHOPer manhandled the victim while tugging at his pants with the taunt, "Do you want me to pull down your panties?" Afterward the observer was shoved further into the street.
The most serious occurances were shootings. Two people were shot in the encampment on the Saturday before the last, with one passing away at the site. Certain protesters blocked the police's access to that and / or the companion victim. Two additional shootings and a stabbing were reported in later days.
The aforementioned followed the CHAZers seizure of the East Precinct of Seattle's police department; which is located at the head of the autonomous region. They overtook the building entirely, ousted the officers there and are alleged to have stolen equipment which presumedly included weapons. Police have yet to find their way back to headquarters as negotiations are still being made. Black Lives Matters and other social justice representatives (who at one point seemed to include members of the terrorist organization, Antifa) demand that the station be turned into a community center - in keeping with their attempt to defund the police.
During an interview at the height of the chaos Mayor Durkin was angrily answered by CNN journalist Chris Cuomo with, "The counter will be, block parties don’t take over a municipal building let alone a police station and destroy it, basically thumbing their nose at any sense of civic control. Do you believe that you have control of your city and that you would be able to clear those streets? Because you haven’t.”
Though the area of concern is still a great nuisance; the rebellion has died down as the city's famous rain, marcher fatigue and boredom set in. There are still a few hold-outs, but the majority were successfully encouraged by the mayor to either expand their activities to outlying areas or go home. That came after desperate pleas from Capitol Hill's property and business owners for a resumption of normal life - and - the launch of a pending law suit.
Meanwhile the statement was made by Hank Newsome, Black Lives Matter Chairmain, that, "if this country doesn't give us what we want, then we will burn down this system and replace it."
Fox's Martha MacCallum, his interviewer, confronted him by quoting that he wanted to “shove legislation down people’s throats,” and then asked him, “What exactly is it that you hope to achieve through violence?”
He returned with this:
"... But the moment people start destroying property, now cops can be fired automatically. What is this country rewarding? What behavior is it listening to? Obviously not marching, but when people get aggressive and they escalate their protests, cops get fired. Now, you have police officers and Republican politicians talking about police reform. I don’t condone nor do I condemn rioting, but I’m just telling what I observed.”
And at the end of the session he added, “I just want black liberation and black sovereignty by any means necessary."
WARNING: The Following Video of an Incident at a CHAZ / CHOP Demonstration Contains Foul Language and Other Potentially Distrubing Content.
P.S.: There are more recent developments of Black Lives Matters protest-related violence. A couple from St. Louis, MO was admonished by some when they displayed arms to a group of protestors who surrounded them after crashing the gates to their home. Also, a photographer who was a key supporter of the BLM movement was shot to death during a demonstration in Louisville, KY by a protestor, an individual suffering from bi-polar disorder.