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US Federal Judge Allows 21 Businesses to Sue Seattle Over Harms Caused by CHOP

08:05  17 october  2020
08:05  17 october  2020 Source:   newsweek.com

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Residents and businesses in a Seattle neighborhood filed a class-action lawsuit Wednesday against the city for "extensive harm " suffered from the Capitol Hill Organized Protest, or CHOP . Residents and businesses sue Seattle over protest zone.

A collection of Seattle businesses , property owners and residents sued the city Wednesday over its tolerance of an “occupied” protest zone, saying officials have been complicit in depriving them of their rights to their property. The plaintiffs — including a tattoo parlor

On Friday, a federal district court judge allowed a lawsuit brought by 21 businesses against the city of Seattle to proceed, despite the city's attempt to have it dismissed.

a sign on the side of a building: A federal judge allowed 21 businesses to sue the city of Seattle for allowing the existence of the © David Ryder/Getty A federal judge allowed 21 businesses to sue the city of Seattle for allowing the existence of the "Capitol Hill Occupied Protest" from June 7 to July 1, 2020. The business owners said the city helped create the area, effectively harming their abilities to continue operating. This June 14, 2020 image shows the entrance to the CHOP zone.

The lawsuit accuses the city of harming local business owners by allowing the existence of Capitol Hill Organized Protest (CHOP), a self-declared autonomous zone that was established and occupied by racial justice protestors from June 8 to July 1.

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A group of protesters has sued the Seattle government, arguing that “unmitigated police violence” has imposed a monetary cost on their right to demonstrate freely, forcing them to buy expensive gear to safely confront the cops. Chief Judge Ricardo Martinez will preside over the case.

The federal agents were protecting federal property and the police actively in the streets chasing people off federal property Were any of these missing people found harmed or dead? As soon as the election is over they're going to immediately drop that 4% as they know that it's costing them the

The occupied zone blocked all car traffic, reducing the businesses' access to customers, vendors and revenue, the lawsuit says. The lawsuit further alleges that city police largely neglected the zone, allowing protesters and others to damage business property and threaten business owners without punishment.

Lastly, the lawsuit states that the city provided concrete barriers, medical supplies, washing and sanitation facilities, portable toilets, lighting and other material support, including the use of Cal Anderson Park to CHOP occupiers, and told police to adopt a "no response" policy wherein officers wouldn't arrive unless a 9-1-1 caller reported "significant life safety issues."

In his decision, Judge Thomas S. Zilly of the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Washington wrote, "Plaintiffs plausibly allege that the City's actions—encouraging CHOP participants to wall off the area and agreeing to a 'no response' zone within and near CHOP's borders—foreseeably placed Plaintiffs in a worse position."

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load more comments ( 21 replies). I don't agree with Seattle 's law. However, I do think parents need to held criminally liable if their children access their firearms and cause harm . How many stupid gun owners have caused harm to others that the law needs to be their Daddy to protect others from them

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While Zilly dismissed the plaintiffs' claim that the city violated their constitutional rights to equal protection by treating them differently from other city residents or CHOP occupiers, he allowed the plaintiffs' three other legal claims to proceed.

The plaintiffs' three other claims allege that by allowing CHOP to operate for a month before police eventually shut it down, the city unlawfully took their private property for public use with no compensation, restricted their ability to fully use their property to conduct business and failed to protect the businesses from a danger of the city's own making.

Newsweek contacted the city of Seattle for comment.

The CHOP zone was first established in June 8 after officers abandoned the Seattle Police Department's (SPD) East Precinct in an effort to de-escalate a week's worth of conflicts between racial justice protesters and police.

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Afterwards, CHOP's occupiers demanded that the city release all arrested protesters and slash its $409 million police budget in half in order to donate the other half to services within the city's Black communities.

The occupiers also painted a block-long "Black Lives Matter" mural, set up spaces for free music performances and political discussions, constructed a community vegetable garden, erected a tent city and established a "No Cop Co-op" with food, medical supplies and other shared resources.

However, city police eventually dismantled the CHOP zone after two Black teenagers were shot dead, four victims were injured in shootings and multiple residents reported violent assaults, harassment and threats.

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