WATCH: Construction Equipment Arrive, then Drive Away from CHOP Zone

King5 reports crews with the Seattle Department of Transportation (SDOT) have left the Capitol Hill Organized Protest (CHOP) zone after staging construction equipment near the barriers Friday morning.

Several trucks and front end loaders drove away from the scene about 7:30 a.m.

SDOT Director Sam Zimbabwe, Seattle Fire Chief Harold Scoggins and SDOT workers spoke with protesters after crews arrived.

While the equipment was staged, at least one protester lay in the street on 12th Ave. to prevent the front end loader from moving forward. On SkyKING aerials, a line of SDOT trucks were seen lined up along 12th Ave. outside the CHOP barricade.

Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan said this week that police will begin returning to the East Precinct in the CHOP, although a timeline wasn’t provided.

A group known as Black Collective Voices said they will continue to hold space in the CHOP if the people choose to do so.

David Lewis, one of the CHOP organizers, said Friday the city will give organizers 72 hours to confer with demonstrators before the barriers are moved. One of the barriers on 13th Ave. is expected to be moved Friday, and the rest will be negotiated after the waiting period.

“We have heard them in recognizing that some of the establishments are wanting more through traffic,” said Lewis. “We get it. We want to work with the city, but we require that our demands are met.”

Some of those demands include defunding the police department by 50% and reallocating funds to disadvantaged communities and terminating police officers with charges against them.

Protesters returned to the streets of Seattle Thursday night and early Friday morning. Demonstrators marched from the CHOP through downtown Seattle to the police department’s West Precinct.

The Washington State Patrol (WSP) closed I-5 between I-90 and SR 520 for about 20 minutes Thursday night when protesters got on the interstate. Video posted on social media showed the group protesting on I-5 and a car driving up quickly and nearly hitting some of the protesters.

WSP Trooper Rick Johnson tweeted that an SUV ran through the closure from Dearborn to northbound I-5 and “nearly hit protestors.” Trooper Johnson asked anyone with information to call the WSP.