Washington State Fraternal Order of Police President Marco Monteblanco told “Fox & Friends” on Monday that the violence in Seattle's autonomous zone, which included a fatal shooting over the weekend, “is very concerning to us.”
Appearing as part of a law enforcement panel, Monteblanco said, “I look at this as an issue with lack of leadership.” He went on to say that that includes a lack of leadership with city officials as well as with police administration and labor unions.
“We need to come together and have true discussions on reform, but we have to stop with the hate that's going on,” Monteblanco said.
The Seattle Police Department has released the bodycam footage of officers responding to a fatal shooting in the so-called CHOP zone early Saturday and being swarmed by what they called “a violent crowd” that prevented police from reaching the scene.
Officers responded around 2:30 a.m. to shots fired in Cal Anderson Park, which lies inside an area of several blocks that demonstrators in Seattle’s Capitol Hill neighborhood cordoned off and dubbed the Capitol Hill Organized Protest, or CHOP. The zone evolved after weeks of protests in the city over police brutality and racism, sparked by the police killing of George Floyd, a black man, in Minneapolis.
Less than 48 hours after a 19-year-old was fatally shot in the autonomous zone, another shooting reportedly broke out on Sunday night that resulted in an individual being hospitalized in serious condition.
“We are seeing this situation where we are being denied, our citizens, our community [are] denied public safety services,” Monteblanco said. “Without public safety services, we can't truly protect those who are in crisis.”
He went on to say, “Why don't we just take a step back, take a quick breath and come back in and have true discussions on reform, instead of having situations where we deny public safety services.”
The “Capitol Hill Organized Protest” has been the source of criticism from the city’s mayor and police chief, Carmen Best, for failing to take control of the six-block radius.
KOMO News reported that it took Mayor Jenny Durkan 40 hours to issue a comment on the Saturday shooting. She confirmed that her office is working with police and fire officials “to make changes on Capitol Hill in partnership with black-led community organizations, demonstrators, small businesses, residents, and trusted messengers who will center de-escalation."
President Trump has criticized Durkan and Gov. Jay Inslee for allowing the zone.
Former NYPD lieutenant Darrin Porcher told “Fox & Friends” on Monday that “the leadership is horrible, to say the least.”
He stressed that what is happening in Seattle is “a classic example of leadership at its worst point.”
Porcher said that “police have to come in and take back that property.”
He pointed out that “city leaders can be held liable, civilly in a civil court because we look at all of the business owners that have no representation whatsoever by the city leaders.”
Fox News’ Stephen Sorace, Edmund DeMarche and The Associated Press contributed to this report.