The plaintiffs claim that the city government looked the other way as protesters took over a six-block neighborhood earlier this month after police abandoned their East Precinct station.
CHAZ / CHOP
The unpoliced encampment was soon plagued by crime, vandalism, and violence. A series of shootings over a 48-hour period earlier this week led to one fatality.
As we reported earlier Mayor Jenny Durkan originally called the protest a “peaceful expression of our community’s collective grief,” but has since vowed to restore order.
The Capitol Hill Autonomous Zone #CHAZ is not a lawless wasteland of anarchist insurrection – it is a peaceful expression of our community's collective grief and their desire to build a better world. Given his track record, it's not hard to believe that Trump is wrong, yet again.
— Mayor Jenny Durkan (@MayorJenny) June 11, 2020
However, her change of heart appears to be too little, too late for the businesses that have lawyered-up.
Although they support the anti-racist, anti-police brutality message of the protesters, the plaintiffs said that the encampment has blocked public access to their businesses by barricades, and even armed guards.
The lawsuit is seeking damages for lost business, property damage and deprivation of their rights as property owners.
DEVELOPING: More than a dozen businesses inside CHOP zone, on Seattle's Capitol Hill, file 56-page class action lawsuit against the City of Seattle. They're seeking unspecified damages, to be determined at trial. pic.twitter.com/RPlsW3DuNv
— Preston Phillips (@PrestonTVNews) June 25, 2020