We Must End the Conditions in CHOP That Are Leading to Violence and Death



"This specific gun violence—and the deaths of two young men—has occurred because of the specific conditions in the CHOP; conditions for which we have collective responsibility for creating and we share collective responsibility to end."

You are devoid of logic and moral clarity, Lisa. End CHOP and you end the "specific" conditions.

We have a collective responsibility for our community. Our community is not CHOP. Your constituents are not CHOP.


Your message seems to be, “We are all in this together.” Fair enough. Too many people have died at the hands of the police and due to the atmosphere that has arisen around CHOP. It’s time for people to work together rather than both sides simply issuing demands of surrender.


If there are in fact "conditions in CHOP" fostering violence, Lisa, then you are going to have to stop being evasive and tell everyone specifically which conditions you have in mind before you start demanding changes to them.


To be frank, there have been gang shootings in this area for a long long long long time.

Now, cut the SPD budget 60% and redesignate traffic control, event control, and mental health crisis to unarmed people who actually have training to do those right without killing our citizens who aren't white.


1 “end chop and it will end the violence”

Clearly you didn’t see the whole thing about black people being murdered by trigger happy cops you racist piece of shit.

It isn’t CHOP’s fault that these kinds of killings have happened - it’s always been dangerous in Seattle in that area. It’s just that crooked nazi cops are desperately trying to smear the BLM movement, and bootlickers like you lick that boot like it tastes of candy.

The whole premise that the terror that happens to the oppressed is the fault of the oppressed is white supremacy speaking, and why ignorant fucks like you aren’t typically welcomed in most progressive Seattle friend circles.


about as meaningful as her totes wild nose ring.


@6: "it’s always been dangerous in Seattle in that area."

No, I don't think so. I used to live on 12 and Republican. Far more awful happened in Pioneer Square and Belltown.


The police violence against protesters had repeatedly escalated the situation, until the point came when the police departure made sense, as a basic calming measure for the suffering neighborhood. That this departure lasted more than a few hours was the failure of leadership. It should have been obvious to everyone that no competent government was going to spontaneously arise to serve the needs of that area. The city is obligated to provide police and fire services to the entire city, and cannot simply abandon any block or three as it likes, any time it wants. Why a legislator from a faraway district got involved in this executive matter at all remains unclear, as does the existence of any positive result she obtained.

We're just lucky the death toll wasn't higher.


@10 Herbold is the chair of the Seattle city council's Public Safety committee. It's in the post's subhead, and she mentions it again in her letter.


@8 "A disgusting failure of leadership across the board." Yes. Sadly, yes. And suggesting mass resignation is fair. Special mention to Kshama Sawant, though, for her customary brand of sanctimony, duplicity, self-promotion, and hypocrisy, and our mayor for so naively mischaracterizing CHAZ/CHOP. And why was it so difficult to show the beleaguered residents and business owners a little more effort and empathy? "Disgusting failure of leadership"--absolutely right.


Lisa has taken a bold move to clearly state that there needs to be a change in the dynamics between the protestors occupying CHOP and the city government. Those that have in the past and who currently occupy that area may feel, as some of the prior comments have expressed, that she could have done more as the Councilmember who chairs the Public Safety Committee. She has admitted to that. But she also has been a steady and effective advocate for getting the police and mayor to back off from confrontations. From what I can tell from the outside, she appears to have been the lead in that effort. And, by writing this piece, she continues to push for a workable solution that recognizes the legitimacy of the protest movement and the responsibility of everyone to address the safety of those both within and outside the CHOP boundaries.


Lisa, you did nothing, and apologize for it, yet you continue to do nothing. Writing a guest editorial in The Stranger isn’t anything other than political theater. Yes, the mayor and CHOP leadership need to work out how to end this but the city council has a responsibility too. Do your jobs.


@13 Two small points, Nick: 1) a protest movement does not need to entail an occupation of a neighborhood and three-week-long disruption of residents' lives. There's no way CHAZ, CHOP, or anyone else had the right to hijack that neighborhood, especially for three weeks. And, if anything, CHOP has lost public support, not increased sensitivity to its concerns. 2) Does individual responsibility ever--I mean, ever--enter into discussions by SCC members? Always, but always, "collective responsibility" and "we" are the emphases. Don't individuals--as in those who actually killed people--have any responsibility here? Is it only cops who bear individual responsibility? A balance between collective and individual responsibility: fine, sure. But nothing but "we" and "collective"? No. Not everyone is an upper-middle class woke liberal or a victimized poor person, and issues of responsibility are rarely clear-cut. Let's not absolve those who commit violence of all responsibility.


@14 & 15 To the point and telling it like it is. Thank you for your comments.


Lisa. Your article wasn’t helpful.


Or, Lisa, you could just shut down the Island of Misfit Toys and give the neighborhood back to the city you dunce.


I wish I could unread that letter. It made it visceral that this level of incompetence has been ever-present and feels wildly unfair. Seattle deserves better leaders.


I haven't set foot on Capitol Hill since January. Everything I know about CHOP I saw through the pinhole aperture of the internet. So I sure.as hell am not about to pass judgement on the whole big thing.

But why is it still an unsolved.mystery who gave the order to abandon the precinct? That part of it stinks for sure.


I appreciate your apologies and regrets but not the buck passing to the mayor. Take responsibility and resign, and ask your fellow far lefties to follow you out the door.


Good Evening,
Robotslave & Marcellus have excellent points.

My questions to Ms. Herbold are WHO gave the order to abandon the East Precinct and do you not see that the occupation of Cal Anderson Park is essentially "mob rule"?

Yes, l get the extreme difficulty in controlling a hostile mob and allowing a peaceful demonstration to exercise 1st Amendment rights.

But, this was a most foolish decision on someone in the hierarchy of command.
I hope this ends peacefully. What a mess!


tl;dr “we all fucked that up bigly”...


@10 don't stop your count of the 'death toll' until all of the paramilitaries leave chop. it will only go higher, especially with the 4th of july holiday weekend!


So, there was no specific threat to the East Precinct? Just a generic threat to all government buildings?

Mayor Jenny has been lying to us.


Councilmember Herbold, I agree with this part of your statement, "This specific gun violence—and the deaths of two young men—has occurred because of the specific conditions in the CHOP." The specific conditions are anarchy and lawlessness. The Mayor and City Administration are responsible for keeping public safety. People who claim to represent the interests of CHOP are replaced by others, and then others. Black Lives Matter has been undermined. There have been murders, rapes, gang violence with no way to cordon off crime scenes. Young people dead, their families are grieving. Businesses cut off, mobbed and robbed. Reporters hounded, harassed, and chased. You are the first council member to step out of the power void and speak. I expect more. I expect you and your fellow council members to take positive action, to work with the Mayor to clear the area.


The only thing you are right about Herbold is that you sat by and shook pom poms as armed militants took over city blocks. Now that this group of macho idiot amateurs with AR15's have done the obvious and started fucking murdering children, you're like oopsie, mea culpa, but pass the buck pass the buck pass the buck.

You are a spinless fool.of a politician with her finger out feeling the wind and going with it. You ought to feel like total fucking garbage for not adulting up and publicly making a stand when the paramilitaries took over CHOP. That's the job you signed up for. But you were afraid to lose some votes, so you crossed your fingers and hoped nobody got their brains blown out.

My take away from reading this your article: you mealy-mouthed, equivocating, blame-dodging cowardly political animal. If you aren't a total sociopath, you should throw yourself at the dead boy's mother's feet and beg forgiveness. The only thing you are right about is that preventing this is exactly the job you battles and clawed your way into, and then you didn't do it, because you love power but don't have the balls to shoulder the responsibility that comes with it.


"In the spirit of taking collective responsibility, I'd like to point out that this is mostly Dow Constantine's fault."


@23 - yes, that question would seem to have a pretty clear and easy answer - "who gave the order to abandon the east precinct?"


@30, X2!


I agree. "Ultimately, the Executive bears much of the responsibility for creating the conditions that have led to armed protestors patrolling the CHOP’s perimeter in an effort to provide security and safety to people within and nearby. And there are many troubling, unanswered questions about the Executive’s decisions that created those unsafe conditions, including the militarized response to protestors over a two-week period that demolished trust between the city and protestors; barricading streets and ultimately abandoning the East Precinct; and refusing to provide emergency services within and near the CHOP. "


@30 Bravo!


Now that this is cleared up republicans can get back to shopping for mid-century modern furniture on Capital hill.


@38 - Which the small business owners who sell the furniture will no doubt appreciate, after being denied their livelihoods for weeks.


@11, @13: There's this little thing called "Separation of Powers doctrine." In this theory of political thought, our legislature makes our laws, our judiciary interprets our laws, and our executive enforces our laws. Restoring public safety and services is an executive function, not a legislative one. For a very recent example, see SPD's clearing of the Capitol Hill Unmitigated Murder Patch, ordered by the Mayor and executed via the Police Chief. Did you observe how this accomplished far, far more than an out-of-district legislator did? I knew you could!


Why would I as a taxpayer take responsibility for this type of lawlessness?!


Lisa Herbold knows exactly where CHOP is (was). She can see it (through a large telescope) from the roof of her primary residence in North Bend.


Whatever, right wing punkass sexist nutjobs.

If you are capable of reading between the lines at all this takes a few shots at her progressive constituency (which is not without political risk), and is at least an honest attempt from Herbold - who, by the way, DOES live in Seattle - to take at least some responsibility for what has gone on.

She's got more balls than all of you put together.


...and it's a more candid and honest attempt at a public self-assessment than anyone is ever going to get from Kshama Sawant.


@44, "who, by the way, DOES live in Seattle".

Yes, she has a residence here. And another.



She married someone who owns a house in North Bend. That's rather different that what you are trying to imply


No, I was actually referring to the sexist piece of shit incel keyboard kommandos posting here. You know - you and your ilk.

Lots of center left folks (including me) think the occupation was allowed to go on for far too long, but that's a separate issue. So go fuck yourself.


Ultimately, the CITY COUNCIL, including Lisa Herbold, bears much of the responsibility for creating the conditions that have led to armed protestors patrolling the CHOP’s perimeter in an effort to provide security and safety to people within and nearby.


@48. She married someone who owns a house in North Bend and that's where she resides. She still owns a home in Seattle that is not her primary residence.