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‘Seattle to end police-free protest zone after shootings’, says mayor Jenny Durkan

Protesters have planted a community garden and painted a large “Black Lives Matter” mural on the street.

SNS | New Delhi |

Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan on Monday said the city in the US state of Washington plans to take back a district that is being occupied by armed protesters, after three people were shot during the weekend.

During a press briefing, Durkan said that the city police department would return to its precinct “peacefully and in the near future”.

“The cumulative impacts of the gatherings and protests and the night-time atmosphere and violence “has led to increasingly difficult circumstances for our businesses and residents.

“The impacts have increased and the safety has decreased,” she was quoted as saying in the BBC report.

Her announcement followed a shooting on Sunday night at the edge of the zone in the Capitol Hill neighbourhood.

At Monday’s news conference, Police Chief Carmen Best said her officers had been confronted by a “hostile crowd” after the Saturday attack that hampered emergency workers as they tried to reach the victims.

According to local media, the area is largely peaceful during the day, with people relaxing in the park while volunteers hand out free food, reports the BBC.

On Saturday, one person died and 11 more were wounded in a shooting in the US city of Minneapolis.

Protesters have planted a community garden and painted a large “Black Lives Matter” mural on the street.

Earlier this month, police broke up a peaceful rally in Lafayette Park moments before President Donald Trump walked from the White House for a photo-op at a historic church damaged by arson the previous night.

The protests in Seattle began in response to last month’s death in police custody of an unarmed black man, George Floyd, in Minneapolis.