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CHOP, Seattle protest
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Ross: Failures of CHOP a cautionary tale for protesters

Protesters in Capitol Hill shortly after police cleared out the CHOP. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)

Protesters in a number of cities are looking to imitate the Seattle neighborhood occupation that was finally broken up by police Wednesday.

But before you try a version of the CHOP in your city, consider this: The reason it was so easy to break up was that by the time police arrived there were only about 30 people who resisted, and because the neighborhood – which voted for a socialist city council candidate – ended up hating it.

They tolerated the endless bullhorn debates during the day, but by night the place turned terrifying – attracting drug users and looters. You’d hear shouting, gunfire, and ultimately two teenagers ended up dead. Two Black teenagers.

The same protesters who demanded transparency from police set up a security force of unnamed guys with guns who weren’t very good at security. Turns out the idea that good guys with guns can keep the peace has flaws.

The mostly white protesters either didn’t know or didn’t care that the precinct the police were forced to vacate had been built at the request of the Black community, led by Seattle’s first Black city councilmember.

And then there was the spectacle of young, mostly white social justice warriors trying to school the city’s Black female police chief.

So, go ahead and try this if you must, just know that you’ll end up showing the world that as imperfect as the police are, there is something worse: not having them at all.

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