Remember when Antifa extremists took over a block of Seattle in the summer of 2020, renamed it the Capitol Hill Occupied Protest, or CHOP?
While CHOP was long ago disbanded, it still remains relevant to this day thanks to a lawsuit filed by local business owners and residents.
“[T]his lawsuit is about the constitutional and other legal rights of Plaintiffs — businesses, employees, and residents in and around CHOP — which have been overrun by the City of Seattle’s unprecedented decision to abandon and close off an entire city neighborhood, leaving it unchecked by the police, unserved by fire and emergency health services, and inaccessible to the public at large,” the suit reads.
“The City’s decision has subjected businesses, employees, and residents of that neighborhood to extensive property damage, public safety dangers, and an inability to use and access their properties,” it continues.
The lawsuit was actually filed during the CHOP “protest” in 2020 but has now resurfaced thanks to Seattle’s decision to finally settle it.
“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,” local station KING reported earlier this month.
Developing: There appears to be a settlement between the City of #Seattle and the businesses surrounding #CHOP – per Kevin Schofield’s reporting pic.twitter.com/AmgfFrJloF
— Matt Markovich (@mattmarkovich) February 15, 2023
In a statement, the attorney for the plaintiffs, Angelo Calfo, said that his clients will be “compensated for the city’s mishandling of CHOP that resulted in a significant increase in crime and even loss of life.”
Calfo also praised the suit for having exposed a cover-up within the Seattle government.
In September, a forensic analysis tied to the case was published. The analysis found that former Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan had during the CHOP protest manually deleted 191 texts from her phone.
“The previously unknown manual text deletions from Durkan’s phone — along with other new details, including that ‘factory resets’ were performed on phones of six other city officials in fall 2020, resulting in the deletions of thousands of other text messages — are among the revelations contained in the findings of an expert’s 32-page report,” NBC News reported at the time.
“The expert’s report, along with a host of other exhibits, was filed in U.S. District Court in Seattle late Wednesday to bolster new arguments raised by attorneys for several businesses and residents suing the city for damages they say were caused by Seattle’s weekslong tolerance of a sprawling protest zone two years ago,” according to NBC News.
When U.S. District Judge Thomas Zilly learned about the deleted texts this January, he snapped. He not only automatically approved two of the lawsuit’s claims, thus sending the case to trial, but he also sanctioned the city of Seattle.
As first reported by the @SeattleTimes, 10 months of Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan’s text messages are missing – as are messages of top public safety leaders from the period during #CHOP. Coincidence or collusion? I asked Mayor Durkan to explain. #Q13FOX pic.twitter.com/dcRfGt07wl
— Brandi Kruse (@BrandiKruse) May 14, 2021
“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,” he decreed, according to The Seattle Times.
“City officials deleted thousands of texts messages from their city-owned phones in complete disregard of their legal obligation to preserve relevant evidence. Further, the city significantly delayed disclosing … that thousands of text messages had been deleted. As a result, substantial evidence has been destroyed by the city and is unavailable to plaintiffs to support their position in this litigation,” he added.
Zilly also vowed to later tell the jury that it may assume the text messages would have hurt the city’s defense.
Dovetailing back to the present, of the $3.6 million that must be paid, $600,000 will be for the deleted text messages. The rest will be for the general tolerance of CHOP.
As previously reported, the launch of CHOP brought with it a sharp increase in crime, which incidentally coincided with Antifa establishing their own police/medical forces and trying to police/treat themselves.
But the problem with amateur policing and the amateur practicing of medicine is they’re devoid of strict rules and regulations, not to mention experience.
In the case of policing, anyone can be accused of committing a crime without any proof. In the case of medicine, innocent people might wind up getting hurt.
The eventual disbanding of CHOP was predicated on one of these unfortunate incidents: Namely, a young black teen being killed by Antifa’s own police force.
Seattle mayor to finally end police-free CHOP zone after shooting death of black teen https://t.co/zGCNBSpt0O via @BIZPACReview
— Jack Furnari (@JackBPR) June 23, 2020
After the teen was shot, Antifa extremists reportedly refused to allow medical personnel into the zone to treat him. The boy’s parents say it’s because of this reason that he died. And so, they too filed suit against Seattle.
“The lawsuit accused first-responders of being unable or unwilling to enter the CHOP zone. It also claimed Anderson wouldn’t have died if he received immediate medical attention,” according to station KIRO.
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