Law enforcement officials are urging the Seattle Police Department to retake control of the East Precinct after hundreds of demonstrators overtook Monday the six-block area that surrounds it.
Officers effectively abandoned the area during violent clashes with demonstrators calling to defund the police.
Demonstrators have since set up occupancy in that section of downtown Seattle and have renamed it “Capitol Hill Autonomous Zone” (CHAZ).
“It can’t continue like that,” Jim Fuda, a law enforcement expert and the director of law enforcement services for Crime Stoppers – which works with SPD – told Komo news.
“Some action is going to have to be taken. Is there federal laws broken? Does the FBI need to come in? But at some point, arrests and these people are going to have to be removed, if they don’t move.”
Photos of the area show protesters have remained peaceful – pitching tents, painting, watching outdoor movies and holding gatherings with music and speeches – but police have also said they have received numerous complaints about armed guards surrounding the perimeter and asking residents who live in the area to show ID.
Police have also alluded to the potential extortion of local businesses and citizens.
Despite concessions by the city, including a 30-day ban by Mayor Jenny Durkan on officers deploying tear gas to disperse large crowds, as well as police officers shuttering the Third Precinct and retreating from the area, protesters have not shown signs of allowing police back in.
“Where are the rest of the citizens and their need for service?” Fuda said, pointing to the fact that police have limited their activity completely and are only responding to 911 calls.
The SPD is working on a strategy to negotiate with protesters but has been unable to identify the leaders of the group.
Michael Solan, president of the Seattle Police Officers Guild, told Fox News’ Laura Ingraham on Wednesday that the occupy-style demonstrations have gone too far and “is absolutely unreasonable activism.”
“We lost a precinct, now, what’s next? Are we going to lose another precinct? The city council has removed our ability to have less lethal ammunition for us to properly protect those facilities and protect ourselves,” Solan said.
’Domestic Terrorists’: Trump Erupts Over ‘Seattle Autonomous Zone.’
President Donald Trump erupted on social media Thursday over the news of the “Seattle Autonomous Zone,” a four-block section of the city, which includes a police precinct, now controlled by “anarchists,” who have issued a list of demands to the city, including abolishing police and making higher education free.
Targeting the mayor of Seattle and the governor of Washington directly, Trump blasted the “domestic terrorists” who’ve moved into the city and called on the individuals in charge to take control of what is increasingly an out-of-control situation in the middle of one of America’s major cities.