Seattle dismantles “CHOP” zone

(NBC News) Things are slowly returning to normal in Seattle’s Capitol Hill neighborhood after police moved in early Wednesday morning and took back the “Capitol Hill Organized Protest” or “CHOP.”

For more than three weeks, people protesting police brutality occupied the area, declaring it an autonomous police-free zone.

Several recent violent crimes, including four shootings which left two teens dead and six other injured, led Seattle’s mayor to declare the “CHOP” an unlawful assembly.

While there were some minor clashes between police and protesters, what lasted for weeks, ended in about a half hour. More than 30 people were arrested.

“There have been far fewer people here and I think with the amount of force with police that were here they were able to easily come in and overwhelm the people that were here and just move them out with very little incident,” said Mike Perry, a photographer with NBC affiliate KING.

“Our job is to support peaceful demonstrators, but what has happened her on these streets in the last two weeks, few weeks that is, is lawless and it’s brutal, and bottom line is is simply unacceptable,” Seattle Police Chief Carmen Best said.

City crews spent the day cleaning up trash, artwork and other things left behind.

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