Owners say police presence following CHOP sweep is hurting business

Some businesses say the police occupation in Capitol Hill following the sweep of the CHOP is making it hard for them to operate.

Where barricades blocking traffic once stood under protester occupation along Pine Street, now sit road block signs manned by police.

But business owners in the area known as the CHOP say this police presence is making their jobs difficult

“People are scared; they’re worried. They fear for their safety; they fear for the safety of people out here, more so with the police presence than with members of CHOP with protesters,” said Kandie Martinez.

Martinez is the manager of Bang on Pine Street.

Her business is behind the police road block. She says that has created confusion and concern for customers and employees.

Officers are allowing people to pass the barricades if they live, work, or have businesses in the area, but owners say the presence alone is enough to scare people away.

“We’re closed because the police reoccupied the streets,” said Zach Parry.

Parry is the owner of the Dumpling Tzar.

He says he only had one order all day. Parry says the hardest part for him is the uncertainty behind the law enforcement presence.

“I don’t know how long it’s going to be like this, if there will be fences tomorrow, or tear gas. I can’t imagine it’s not going to bring protesters back,” said Parry.

Both Martinez and Parry say they had no issues with the protesters, though not everyone feels the same.

“It turned into a nightmare at night,” said Stephanie Rivard.

Rivard lives inside where the CHOP zone once stood. She says things got so bad her family chose to stay in a hotel.

They’re back home now and Rivard was picking up groceries.

On her way back to her home, she was stopped at the barricade by police, but she says she doesn’t mind.

“I kind of feel safe about that, because they’re not just letting anyone back into this place,” she said.

According to the mayor’s executive order, this process could take up to 10 days. However, the police presence in Capitol Hill has already decreased.