CHOP organizer claims “I feel safer here than anywhere else” despite fatal shootings linked to zone

Despite multiple fatal shootings linked to the Seattle “CHOP” zone, organizer David Lewis claims “I feel safer here than anywhere else.”

Per Fox News, a 16-year-old boy has died and a 14-year-old boy has been hospitalized in critical condition Monday following the latest shooting at the Seattle area known as the Capitol Hill Organized Protest, or CHOP, police revealed.

Seattle Police Chief Carmen Best said it marked the second death of an African-American victim in the area. The first death associated with the CHOP came June 20 when 19-year-old Horace Lorenzo Anderson was shot and killed.

Monday marked the fourth shooting linked to the CHOP zone.

Seattle Times reports protesters in the area on Monday morning defended the occupation, saying it wasn’t the cause of the violence.

“The bloodshed you’re talking about has nothing to do with the movement,” said Antwan Bolar, 43, who was staying in a tent in the protest zone. “That’s people who would have been doing it in North Seattle or South Seattle anyways — it’s just concentrated here.”

Bolar said he heard multiple shots, and “would have thought it was fireworks if it wasn’t the back-to-back pop-pop-pop.”

David Lewis, who has been one of the organizers of the protests, thanked the Seattle Department of Transportation for leaving barriers up at the CHOP, saying that they had saved lives.

“I feel safer here than anywhere else,” Lewis said.

Best argued against Lewis’ and other protesters’ assertions that the SDOT barriers protected people and prevented more from being hurt.

“I absolutely do not agree with that,” Best said. “There are multiple people being injured and hurt and we need to do something about it.”

She said police would like people to move out of the area.

“As an African American woman with uncles and brothers and stuff I wouldn’t want them to be in this area,” she said. “We’ve had two … killed. We have a child that’s injured from gun violence.”