Rantz: How many murdered Black teens before Durkan, council end CHOP?

Jun 29, 2020, 6:43 PM | Updated: Jun 30, 2020, 10:10 am
SPD Chief Carmen Best addressing media Monday after another shooting in the CHOP. (Getty Images) 
              A car sits in the Capitol Hill Organized Protest zone following a shooting in Seattle early Monday, June 29, 2020. At least one man was killed and another was wounded early Monday morning when they were shot in the protest area known as CHOP, after driving the vehicle into the area. (AP Photo/Aron Ranen)
              A car sits in the Capitol Hill Organized Protest zone following a shooting in Seattle early Monday, June 29, 2020. At least one man was killed and another was wounded early Monday morning when they were shot in the protest area known as CHOP, after driving the vehicle into the area. (AP Photo/Aron Ranen)
            Barriers and tents are seen outside of the Seattle Police Department's vacated East Precinct in the area known as the Capitol Hill Organized Protest (CHOP) on June 28, 2020 in Seattle, Washington. (Photo by David Ryder/Getty Images) (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren)

How many murdered Black teens does it take for Mayor Jenny Durkan and the Seattle City Council to finally put an end to the national embarrassment known as the CHOP? Is another CHOP murder not enough to move?

This isn’t some sick and twisted riddle with a trick answer. It’s a legitimate question for the politicians passing as leaders in this city. And I’m sorry to be so blunt, but it seems ridiculous that we’ve been having this conversation long enough that two Black teens are now dead while politicians unwilling to act declare that Black lives matter.

There has to be a number that the mayor and council find unacceptable that forces them to dismantle CHOP. Right now, we know two isn’t enough.

Rantz: Reporter blocked from filming CHOP activist pointing gun at crowd

Another CHOP murder isn’t enough?

Last week, when a 19-year-old Black teen was shot and killed, with three others shot, including a 17-year-old Black teen, the mayor held a lengthy press briefing to say the CHOP would end, but offered no timeline or plan. It was the appearance of caring; an unfulfilled promise of action.

It was dangerous, but Durkan chose to back down from clearing the CHOP. With her lack of leadership, a second teen was murdered, an allegation Chief Carmen Best made. By who? Unclear. It seems likely by untrained “security” forces at the CHOP. The victim was a 16-year-old Black teen. A 14-year-old Black teen is in critical condition as well. Do their lives matter?

If it was the John Brown Gun Club or some LARPing Antifa goon providing the security, the Black teen was almost assuredly killed by white men with guns. And the crime scene? Disrupted, presumably by the fake security guards playing a deadly game of dress-up. At the CHOP, apparently this is acceptable.

When a Seattle officer uses force against anyone, including when brandishing a deadly weapon, the community shouts “police brutality.” Here, relative silence from the CHOP, the mayor, and the council.

That’s not to say they’ve been quiet completely.

The delusional responses

As Chief Best offered details on Monday morning’s murder, she was at times drowned out by angry protesters. Best, a Black female police chief in a profession of predominantly white men, would normally be celebrated and listened to. But activists at the CHOP hate and/or distrust cops. And as she made a plea to end the chaos that took yet another Black life, protesters unironically chanted that Black lives matter while refusing to leave the CHOP.

Despite the recent murder, CHOP organizer David Lewis told The Seattle Times he feels “safer here than anywhere else” because of the area’s concrete barricades. To feel safe at the site of two homicides and four gun injuries is either a dangerous delusion or a flat-out lie meant to keep the CHOP intact.

The mayor offered no more than a retweet on her Twitter account where she pretends to care about Black lives while staying silent on the Black lives murdered at a site she’s been unwilling to disband. She could send in cops and take back the precinct. She’d catch grief from the council, but mainstream activists and reasonable Seattleites (there are a few of us left) would welcome this development.

Then you have the council.

Socialist Kshama Sawant is using a dead Black teen to push an Amazon tax because she lacks political conscience. She’s all about promoting her Socialist brand of demonizing big business.

Council President Lorena Gonzalez says the second murder at the CHOP has nothing to do with the CHOP except that it occurred at the CHOP, on the block of an abandoned police station due to CHOP. But, other than the location, the absence of police and a willingness for criminals to act out in a lawless zone, the gun violence has nothing to do with CHOP.

She’s blaming generic “gun violence” for the murder. Because, well, why not? It’s not like she has any solutions to deal with CHOP and she’d never attack the base she’ll count on for when she runs for a bigger office.

There’s certainly reason to believe the shootings could be tied to gangs. At the first shooting, there were reports from CHOP of gang affiliations. But why do you think gang violence is suddenly happening in the CHOP? Could it be that it’s a cop-free zone? So far the police-free utopia of the CHOP may have a higher gun death rate than the entire city of Seattle given how few people actually occupy the area. This cop-free experiment has been rather deadly.

An uncomfortable question

You can’t believe Black lives matter while sitting back and letting Black lives be taken.

So, again, how many Black teens should be killed before the city takes back this space? Is it three? Or 10? Or are you counting bullets fired? 30? 500?

What will get this city to act? I think we have the right to know.

Listen to the Jason Rantz Show weekday afternoons from 3-6 p.m. on KTTH 770 AM (or HD Radio 97.3 FM HD-Channel 3). Subscribe to the podcast here. Follow @JasonRantz on Twitter and Instagram or like me on Facebook

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Rantz: How many murdered Black teens before Durkan, council end CHOP?