SEATTLE, WA – Inhabitants and supporters of the CHAZ/CHOP area in Seattle constantly claim that they’re not rioters or engaged in violence, but time and again they manage to convey something completely different when on camera.
On June 8th, a Fox affiliate news crew based out of Seattle ventured to the once-dubbed “autonomous zone” to engage in reporting. Instead, the crew was met with harassment and assault from the inhabitants – which was all caught on camera.
Fox 13 reporter Brandi Kruse posted the unedited video to Facebook on June 17th, where cameras captured her in the mere attempt to report on the sectioned-off six block area of Seattle while being surrounded by a group of “peaceful” protesters.
Kruse captioned the video posted with the following:
“I hope you will watch every minute so you can feel the fear we felt. So you can hear my tears at the end. This video was taken Monday, June 8, the night Seattle left the East Police Precinct to protesters.”
Kruse’s caption continued on the video, capping it off with the following:
“Our crew was targeted, stalked, harassed, and assaulted. The level of vitriol from one member of the mob, who claimed she was a ‘social worker,’ was like nothing I’ve ever experienced.
“When elected leaders lump this type of behavior into what they’re calling ‘peaceful,’ not only is it a lie, but it’s deeply offensive to those who have been subjected to it. I hope this video is spread widely. Seattle needs to do better.”
The display was nothing short of a complete picture of what the CHAZ/CHOP movement represents: bigotry. The crowd surrounded a woman simply trying to do her job, using a means of intimidation and instances where Kruse noted that she was being shoved.
Overall, despite whatever positive spin media is trying to afford the “autonomous zone,” it’s clearly not a positive place. It is evidently rife with mob rule, copious amounts of vandalism, and an obvious show of those deemed “unwanted” will be forcibly removed.
For a group complaining about the likes of police brutality, they’re hardly a box full of kittens themselves.
For those who may have missed out, the infamous six-block seizure that was once known as CHAZ (Capitol Hill Autonomous Zone) is going by a new acronym dubbed as CHOP (Capitol Hill Occupied Protest).
Whatever you want to call it, a suspected arsonist was recently detained near the occupied area.
What’s more disturbing was the stash of weapons that were located near the scene of the alleged arson and vandalism – and also that police did not arrest the suspect initially.
According to police, 21-year-old Richard Hanks allegedly broke into Car Tender and attempted to start a fire within the business on June 15th. Keep in mind, this was a mere two blocks from the CHAZ/CHOP occupied area.
Kids in their twenties are making poor choices and hurting their immediate future success —“Richard Hanks, 21, is a repeat offender accused of breaking into Car Tender, a business less than two blocks outside CHOP in Seattle.”
— #NeverAgain Shutdown the Economy! (@JanCookLive) June 18, 2020
John and Mason McDermott happen to be the owners of the business, and personally responded when notified of Hanks allegedly breaking into the business. The father and son business owners also called 911 to inform police of the initial break-in.
Yet, police didn’t respond, according to Mason:
“Multiple times, we called them… They made it seem like they were going to come. We’ve been bombarded by news station [on June 16th], basically saying, ‘Hey, the police department’s saying they showed up last night.’ Absolutely not. They did not.”
The McDermotts were able to stop Hanks from causing further damage, as the duo had allegedly witnessed Hanks attempting to set a desk on fire.
Mason claimed that they called police somewhere between 16 to 18 times while detaining the suspect, but no one responded.
Then, somewhere between 100 and 200 CHAZ/CHOP inhabitants gathered outside of the Car Tender demanding the release of Hanks. According to a police report related to the incident, this gathering of people had threatened to burn down the business if Hanks wasn’t released to them.
— Kafka (@kafka_code) June 16, 2020
Mason described this group of “peaceful” demonstrators:
“They were shouting at us from outside the gate of my dad’s shop, saying that they were going to kill us and to let him go and, you know, obscenities… basically, they said, ‘let him go or we’re gonna kill you guys.
You need to let him go.’ And we were just holding him so the police could get there, you know, so this guy could be accountable for trying to burn our family business to the ground and stealing.”
The group had breached the fencing around the business and began to make their way into the business’ yard. At that point, the McDermotts released Hanks to the mob.
That’s when things got allegedly stranger.
According to the police report of the incident, the mob had actually detained Hanks and began forcibly searching through his backpack and held him against his will.
Apparently, the crowd had even returned some items that were stolen from the McDermotts – and then the crowd allegedly delivered their own form of justice to Hanks.
The police report said:
“Eventually a member of the crowd assaulted the suspect, repeatedly punching him in the face.”
It’s almost as though CHAZ/CHOP’s version of “policing” engaged in what some would call police brutality.
This is what CHOP/CHAZ looks like. They need to shut this down asap. Start by shutting off the power and water. When they can't charge their cell phones they will leave. #CHOP #CHAZ #riots2020 pic.twitter.com/bt7SS6YDVx
— Dominichi (@TheNeech2) June 14, 2020
Can anyone see the irony of enacting violent mob justice against suspected criminals while engaged in a protest against police brutality, as the entire protests that have erupted typically point to that as being the impetus of the demonstrations.
Hanks was reportedly able to escape the beating from the mob.
While Hanks wasn’t immediately taken into custody by police after the alleged break-in and arson attempt at Car Tender, he did get arrested later by a deputy from the King County Sheriff’s Office.
The sheriff’s deputy witnessed Hanks engaged in a vehicular burglary later on June 15th in White Center, and placed him into custody.
After the scenario that played out at Car Tender, security firm Iconic Global offered to donate time and personnel to the McDermotts to help guard their business. Some of their personnel dispatched made a unique discovery nearby the scene of the alleged arson attempt.
Hey people of #CHAZ! We made a tourism video for anyone who might be curious about experiencing the joys of hypocrisy and anarchy.
— MRCTV (@mrctv) June 17, 2020
Iconic Global employees were said to have located an AK-47, five loaded magazines, a magazine for a Glock, and also some “explosive hardware”. All of which were reportedly stashed in some bushes nearby Car Tender.
As for Hanks, he’s currently facing charges of burglary in the second degree, theft of a motor vehicle, and malicious mischief in the first degree and remains in custody at this time.
Want to make sure you never miss a story from Law Enforcement Today? With so much “stuff” happening in the world on social media, it’s easy for things to get lost.
Make sure you click “following” and then click “see first” so you don’t miss a thing! (See image below.) Thanks for being a part of the LET family!