CHAZ/CHOP (Originally Capitol Hill Autonomous Zone, now Capitol Hill Organized Protest which was changed under pressure from politicians on the left who thought it sounded too much like they were seceding from the US) is the area near Congress occupied by protesters protesting the death of George Floyd.
This is the fourth shooting in the past ten days in what was initially an area manned by peaceful demonstrators but has turned into a no man's land.
Harborview Medical Center hospital reported that one of the boys arrived at 3.15 am, driven by a private vehicle, while the other was brought in by the fire department at 03.30.
"Unfortunately the boy who arrived at 3.30 from the Chop area is dead," adds the statement.
The self-managed "Capitol Hill Occupied Protest" zone was created in the wake of Floyd's killing in Minneapolis, where on May 25 a white policeman pressed his neck to the ground with one knee for eight minutes.
On one street, the protesters created a huge mural bearing the name of the movement, "Black Lives Matter".
Since protests, now widespread nationally and internationally, against systemic racism and police brutality, the security of the area is managed independently by the demonstrators, of which many are known felons, including a self-styled rap-star who is actually a drug dealer dubbed “The Warlord”.
Hundreds of peaceful demonstrators had occupied the area, but four shootings have occurred in the past 10 days. In the first, on June 20, a 19-year-old was killed and a 33-year-old injured.
The next day, a 17-year-old was injured, just as he was two days after another person. Following repeated episodes of violence, local authorities said they were considering dismantling the Chop area and reopening the police station.
Seattle Police Department director Carmen Best accused demonstrators and villagers of "not being cooperative with our requests for help" and described the area as "unsafe, for nobody."
In the meantime, requests for resignation from mayor Jenny Durkan, accused of having mishandled the situation, are rising from various parts of the political spectrum. According to local media, the Chop area is peaceful and quiet during the day, with volunteers who distribute food for free and people who relax in the parks, where a community garden has also been created.
At night, however, the tension rises when demonstrators march and armed people control the streets.