Neighbors upset only a few CHOP barricades removed

VIDEO: Neighbors upset only a few CHOP barricades removed

SEATTLE — Some barricades at the Capitol Hill Occupied Protest zone were removed as Seattle moves toward dismantling the protest zone.

It comes three weeks and a day after Seattle police abandoned the East Precinct.

Yet, even with this move, the CHOP is still pretty much intact.

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What the city did is seen as a small step toward reclaiming the area, something people here say can't come soon enough.

It is the moment so many on Capitol Hill have wanted, —the removal of the barricades the city placed here weeks ago.

"We have a hard time dealing with it," said lifelong Seattle resident Steve Burdick.

He says he and his low -income neighbors sympathize with the CHOP protesters but not with this.

"I can't, this is my normal bus route," Burdick said. "I can't go anywhere. It's just killing Seattle."

The only barricades that were removed were at 10th and Pine. Within an hour, CHOP protesters had replaced them. But they say this is temporary.

"The only reason why you see a makeshift barricade now is in order for us to preserve the Black Lives Matter mural," said David Lewis. "We're trying to do that as quickly as ah speedily as we can."

Just yesterday, this neighborhood was rattled by a deadly shootout between the occupants of a Jeep Cherokee and CHOP protesters. One teenager died, and another was critically injured.

"It was affected because we had stray fire coming from the occupied area," said Wade Biller, president of the board of Onyx Condominiums, a block north of CHOP.

Biller says a stray bullet struck one unit, whizzing past the resident's bed, who awoke in a shower of glass.  Now the Onyx has joined a class action lawsuit to remove CHOP.

"It needs to go, obviously," said Biller. "I mean, we had a lot of patience the first week.  And then by the time the second week came along, it's like something has to be done."

Today's action by the city was a surprise to the people at CHOP.

However, they say they have been told the barricades around the East Precinct are on a different time line.

 But the city temporarily closed nearby Cal Anderson Park to assess the damage and begin making repairs, and the people living there are being offered help to find housing.