Seattle Police Chief Says 'Enough Is Enough' After 2 Teens Killed in CHOP Protest Zone

Seattle Police Chief Carmen Best said "enough is enough" following the killings of two teenagers who were shot in the Capitol Hill Organized Protest (CHOP) zone.

"Two men are dead. 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. Enough is enough here," Best said Monday during a press conference in the zone.

The chief made her comments following the second deadly shooting in the city's Capitol Hill neighborhood, which has been occupied by protesters for about three weeks. A 16-year-old who was shot early Monday morning died at the Harborview Medical Center, while a 14-year-old victim who was placed in intensive care remains in critical condition.

The first fatal shooting in the occupied zone took place June 20 and resulted in the death of a 19-year-old. A 17-year-old was also shot the following day in the zone but was released from the hospital after treatment. Two other people have been shot within the protest site as well.

"This is something that is going to need to change," Best said. "We're asking that people remove themselves from this area for the safety of the people. If they care about people, they're going to have to try to help us to make it safe."

Best added that the public has not cooperated with the police, who are investigating the Monday shootings.

Newsweek ­­reached out to Mayor Jenny Durkan's office for a response to the police chief's comments but did not hear back before publication.

The Seattle Police Department abandoned its East Precinct building on June 8 after violent clashes with protesters. An occupation of a six-by-six-block portion of the Capitol Hill neighborhood commenced soon afterward. CHOP has been the site of multiple violent assaults and shootings since its inception.

Seattle is already facing a class-action lawsuit from businesses and residents in Capitol Hill who say their neighborhood has been subjected to "extensive property damage, public safety dangers and an inability to use and access their properties."

"The city...has actively endorsed and supported the ongoing occupation of the CHOP area and the destruction of property that accompanies it," the suit states, citing the barricades provided by the city to protesters to put along the zone's borders. Seattle Public Utilities also set up water faucets for protesters to use.

A spokesperson for the Seattle city attorney's office told Newsweek on June 25 it intends "to review this complaint and respond accordingly."

Durkan announced at a June 22 press conference the city planned to dismantle the Capitol Hill occupation, saying, "It's time for people to go home."

"It is time for us to restore Cal Anderson [Park] and Capitol Hill so it can be a vibrant part of the community. 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," Durkan said at the time

Since then, the city was able to clean up some of the park, a center for CHOP, but protesters thwarted attempts by the Department of Transportation to remove barricades and open roads on June 26.

The CHOP barriers remain in place as protesters refuse to cooperate with the city until it meets their demands, which include a 50 percent reduction in the police department's budget.

Seattle Police Chief Carmen Best
Seattle Police Chief Carmen Best holds a press conference at the Capitol Hill Organized Protest (CHOP) zone on June 29. The press conference was held near the site of an early-morning shooting that left one person dead and one in critical condition. David Ryder/Getty