Protesters take over streets outside abandoned SPD East Precinct

SEATTLE - Protesters took over streets in Seattle’s Capitol Hill neighborhood now that Seattle Police has abandoned its East Precinct.

Along Pine Street for several blocks, barriers prevented traffic from passing. Around the abandoned East Precinct, protesters have tents set up, food vendors, and other amenities.

“I see a bunch of people that are glad they’re not being bombed away by police right now,” said Raz Simone, a protester.

Simone says they will not leave until there is change, specifically defunding SPD.

He says the neighbors and business owners he’s spoken to say they are happy with the change.

“Scary, it sounds like a war zone,” said Jacque Treat.

Treat lives and works in Capitol Hill. She has taken part in some of the protests and helped people she says who needed refuge during them.

With the precinct empty, she is expecting the recent conflicts she’s seen in her neighborhood to subside.

“It’s going to be a lot more civil and peaceful just because it’s not an automatic war zone,” said Treat.

But not all residents are happy with officers abandoning the building.

“I’m a little frightened, frankly, that police have abandoned their office, which I thought would be a stronghold for them,” said David Day.

Day says he supports the BLM movement and agrees the clashes between protesters and officers aren’t the way to move forward. However, he still worries what it will mean without having officers at their post.