One of the groups involved with the so-called Capitol Hill Occupied Protest in Seattle continue pushing to dismantle the city's police department after Seattle Police said a "violent crowd" prevented officers from getting to a shooting victim on Saturday.
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"Last night's shooting should redirect us to the task at hand – to defend Black lives by dismantling the Seattle Police Department and investing in real community safety," a group called Decriminalize Seattle said in a statement.
"Capitol Hill Autonomous Zone/Capitol Hill Occupied Protest (CHAZ/CHOP) emerged from struggle and resistance against the Seattle Police Department (SPD) and its East Precinct in defense of Black lives," the group said. "No single group fought in the streets against cops – instead, many different people from many different belief systems and organizations who all agreed that anti-Black police violence must end struggled together against the SPD and lifted demands for defunding SPD."
One of the men involved in the shooting on Saturday died, while the other was hospitalized with life-threatening injuries, SPD said. The suspect or suspects are still at large.
"We don't yet know who was responsible for last night's violence. It could have been carried out by people who know each other, or it could have been carried out by a stranger," Decriminalize Seattle's statement continued. "We also know that racism and sexism are the causes of enormous violence, and that police violence is a part of that, not a solution."
The deadly shooting occurred after Seattle Police Chief Carmen Best said earlier in June that police would only enter CHOP in "life safety" situations.
"[Officers are] not going directly into the area. They're trying to get people to come out. ... That's not to say we just don't show up," Best told reporters. "If there's something that's a life safety situation -- somebody injured, shots fired -- we don't have any other choice. We're going in," Best said.
Her statement came after John McDermott, co-owner of an auto shop located just outside of CHOP, said police never responded to his 911 calls about a fire and burglary in progress early Monday morning, KING-TV reported.
"We're just trying to run a small business, make a living, be good members of society," McDermott told the outlet. "And try to be good neighbors to the neighborhood and I think we’ve really been let down by the mayor's office, the Seattle Police Department and the fire department."