Seattle’s Settlement of “Autonomous Zone” Protests Shows Just How Out of Touch Its Local Government Is With Citizens and Police

Things have not been good for Seattle over the past couple of years.

We’ve seen the city reach an all-time high in criminal activity, with some citizens feeling unsafe and some businesses needing to move to new locations. And the situation surrounding the poorly funded police still hasn’t been resolved.

But now, the city appears to be paying the price. Per this report from Fox Business, Seattle has settled a lawsuit with several business owners and residents, to the tune of over $3.65 million. And why? Because of how they basically turned one of their friendly districts into an “autonomous zone” for “defund the police” protestors. This was something that, with a little bit more effort, could’ve easily been resolved.

To provide some background, this “autonomous zone” opened up in 2020, shortly after the beginning of the “defund the police” riots following the death of George Floyd. Known as the Capitol Hill Autonomous Zone (CHAZ), it basically allowed these people to run rampant within this zone. And, in turn, that created a safety hazard for citizens and also impacted several businesses around them.

The suit claimed that the city “effectively authorized the actions of the CHAZ participants,” not raising a finger against their occupation and letting them run wild. Because of this, as I noted above, criminal activity ran amuck.


What’s more, during this time frame, these CHAZ protestors also took over the police department’s east precinct, preventing any law enforcement officers from entering the area. This is absurd. You’re talking about the city granting free reign to these people to not only take over a zone, but take over a police district?!

On top of that, the city basically empowered them to the point that they wanted to make demands. This included cutting the police budget by 50 percent, as well as abolishing imprisonment and releasing inmates put in prison for petty marijuana-related offenses.

Police finally cleared the area after a nearly one-month period, but, honestly, it should have never gone on that long. And the impact these domestic terrorists have left continues to be felt two and a half years later, with dwindled police forces and business owners wondering if they can still operate in the area.

The $3.65 million payout is mere damage control, in an effort to show that the city still “cares” for these people. But this should not be the end of it. I think Seattle officials should now put forward an initiative to take care of its police forces.

First of all, there should be an apology to Seattle’s police for not only granting these domestic terrorists free-range over their “autonomous zone,” but also over one of their districts. And let all the world see this apology.

Then, show the money. They’ve already done so for these businesses and citizens, but now it’s time to take care of the police. Provide full funding back after it’s been so hastily scaled back. Hire new officers and take care of those that have been working night and day trying to keep the city safe. I’m talking budget justification across the board, with improved budgets for mental health care and necessary gear, as well as personal time for those officers that have worked themselves to the bone. They have more than earned it.

And most importantly, I think the city needs to formally address former Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan’s comments during this takeover. While these CHAZ followers were hastily taking over police districts and making demands, she deemed the period as a “summer of love.” 

Even President Trump, at the time, noted the sheer outrage behind this. She has reportedly walked back the comments since then, but I think the city just needs to note how flat-out wrong she was.

Now’s the time for current Mayor Bruce Harrell and his administration to really make right.  Not just for the people, but for the police that have taken a bum rap through all of this while CHAZ followers were basically given “love” by the city. Then, and only then, can we push aside this blemish and try to make things right for Seattle.


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