Seattle will work to deescalate, dismantle ‘CHOP’ autonomous zone, mayor says

first_imgToby Scott/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty ImagesBy MORGAN WINSOR, ABC News(SEATTLE) — Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan announced Monday that officials will work with community leaders and Black-led organizations to amicably dismantle the protester-occupied streets near Cal Anderson Park in the city’s Capitol Hill neighborhood. Community resources, rather than law enforcement, will be deployed to deescalate the so-called Capitol Hill Organized Protest zone, known as CHOP, as well as encourage people to leave voluntarily and move individuals experiencing homeless to services as needed, according to Durkan. “It’s time for people to go home. It is time for us to restore Cal Anderson and Capitol Hill so it can be a vibrant part of the community,” the mayor said at a press conference Monday. “We can still accommodate people who want to protest peacefully, come there and gather. But the impacts on the businesses and residents and community are now too much.”The Seattle Police Department will also return to the East Precinct building within the boundaries of the CHOP zone, which officers were forced to abandon earlier this month after violent clashes with protesters. Durkan said officers will do so “peacefully and in the near future,” but did not provide a specific date on their return. The announcement follows a weekend of gun violence in the area, in which three people were shot within a 48-hour period. One of the victims, a 19-year-old, died from his wounds, according to police. “As a mother of a 19-year-old boy, I cannot imagine the pain of his mother and his family,” Durkan said. “We must do better.”While the mayor noted that a vast majority of the demonstrations have been peaceful and powerful, she said “the cumulative impacts of the gatherings and protests and the nighttime atmosphere and violence has led to increasingly difficult circumstances for our businesses and residents.” “The gun violence unfolding at night is not only wrong, it also is undermining and distracting from the message for change that we are hearing in the street and in so many of the peaceful protests,” she said. “We cannot let acts of violence define this movement for change.”Durkan said she has met with community leaders, local organizations, protesters, businesses and residents in recent weeks, and there will be continued dialogue on how to reimagine policing itself as well as “every other component of our society.” “Racism is a living, breathing organism,” she said. “It permeates our society in so many ways, and we can only undo racism and begin to undo the trauma and injustice by really centering the voices of the people who are affected.”Seattle Police Chief Carmen Best agreed that “the entire structure and mission of the Seattle Police Department has to be reimagined and reenvisioned.” “It will be done with direct community guidance,” Best said during Monday’s press conference.Despite calls from protesters to transform the East Precinct building into a community center, the police chief said her officers “need to get back” in there. Officers were met with a “hostile crowd” within the CHOP zone on Saturday night that prevented them from getting to gunshot victims, according to Best. “Because we couldn’t guarantee the safety for the first responders to enter,” she said, “neither officers nor medics were able to get there and treat the wounded.”In addition to shootings, the police chief said there has also been reports of rape, assault, burglary, arson and property destruction. “I have the police reports right here,” Best said, holding up papers. “We cannot walk away from the truth of what is happening there.”Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.last_img read more

Heavy snow across Rockies and Cascades, seasonable air returns to the Gulf Coast

first_imgABC NewsBY: BRITTANY BORER, ABC NEWS(NEW YORK) — Heavy snow is expected for the Cascades and Rockies today with rounds of rain for the coast and this pattern is forecast to continue for the next couple of days.A foot of snow is likely for parts of the Northern Rockies while multiple feet of snow are expected over parts of the northern Cascades with heavy rain of up to 4 inches or more is expected in the Pacific Northwest coast through Thursday.A weak disturbance will move across the Midwest bringing light to moderate snow this afternoon and evening.Isolated light snow showers are possible from parts of the Northeast and Central Appalachians today and snow will begin in Chicago this evening and last overnight.Snow will be falling throughout the Monday morning commute for Pittsburgh and Cleveland with rain enveloping the Tennessee Valley.Some pockets of light freeing rain may even develop across parts of the Central Appalachians and may begin in New York as snow in the early afternoon but end as rain by Monday evening.Rain showers will spread across the Middle and Lower Mississippi Valley, the Tennessee Valley, Southeast and Mid-Atlantic regions throughout the day.Some areas of scattered to isolated thunderstorms may develop along the Carolina and Southeast coasts on Monday night and snow will still be falling in parts of New England by Monday evening before pulling the moisture offshore overnight.An estimated 2 to 4 inches of snow is likely for much of the Upper Midwest with locally higher amounts possible in Iowa today.The Central Appalachians and interior Northeast will also see a general area of 2-4 inches while locally heavier amounts are expected for areas downwind of the Lower Great Lakes tonight into tomorrow.The good news is that most of the country is looking at a much quieter weather pattern this week with only the Pacific Northwest, however, being the exception as they should see rounds of rain and snow.Additionally, temperatures will finally get back to near seasonable levels across the central US this week.Dallas is forecast to reach 60 degrees on Sunday, which is the first time temperatures will be that mild since Feb. 8, almost two weeks ago, and will be just short of their average high by 2 degrees.Charlotte will be at 58 degrees on Tuesday which is the mildest since Feb. 10 and will be 2 degrees above average.It should get up to 70 degrees or higher at San Diego International Airport on Sunday which will be the first time since Feb. 1 and this will be 5 degrees above average for them.Copyright © 2021, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.last_img read more