SEATTLE, WA—On Saturday, June 20, rapper Solomon Samuel Simone, known as “Raz Simone,” uploaded a video on Instagram showing paramedics refusing to enter the Capitol Hill Organized Protest (CHOP) area to assist a shooting victim.
The CHOP – originally called the Capitol Hill Autonomous Zone (CHAZ) – was established on June 8 after Seattle Police Department (SPD) officers abandoned the nearby East Precinct. There are relaxation spaces and plots of land for farming within the zone, and rapes, robberies, and extortions have been reported there too.
Simone shared the video with the caption “Medics let the bro[ther] die this morning. Medics refused to help even after my people in the CHOP begged. They let a man bleed out for 30 minutes till he died. Fuck politics. Fuck your corrupt system.” The video does not show any CHOP residents “begging” for assistance.
The medics were reportedly waiting for police officers to escort them into the area. One medic could be heard calling someone to check if they had clearance to enter the CHOP. Simone yelled “you are clear! We’re giving you the clear! We will make sure you’re clear!”
The SPD later released a statement announcing that CHOP ‘residents’ – “a violent crowd” – blocked police officers from safely entering the area. Officers were later told that “CHOP ‘medics'” had taken the victims to Harborview Medical Center.
Social media users had mixed reactions to the post.
@graemesmcauslan noted that “they [aren’t] allowed in until police clear the scene. Police couldn’t clear the scene because some people at [the CHOP] didn’t let them in.”
@alwaysrome said that “paramedics CANNOT go into UNSECURED locations – for better or worse. By the very definition, CHOP is not a secured location. You do not let police in – who are the authoritative figureheads for determining if a location is safe. Therefore paramedics and firefighters are not allowed to enter an active shooter situation. They legally CANNOT go into that situation. They would be fired and potentially prosecuted.”
@uarizona_collegerepublicans commented that “y’’all claimed CHOP/CHAZ a foreign country. American paramedics can’t cross into Mexico or Canada to treat people. They can’t cross in CHAZ/CHOP. Sorry man but that’s tough shit cuz your actions of starting a new nation have consequences.”
@thefamco refuted this, saying “[for] people claiming that CHOP is a sovereign nation and not a part of the US. Your claims aren’t consistent with the fact the people at CHOP are still paying taxes in Seattle, so call it “Dual Citizenship” if you will. On an even bigger note however, FUCK THE POLITICS. If a man has been shot it is not up to civil servants to choose NOT to help him. All they did was agree that this man[‘]s punishment for exercising his rights was DEATH.”
@reignhenceforth shared a similar sentiment: “the point is, whoever that was, is an American citizen and a HUMAN BEING in need. Regardless of wherever they were at the time of injury. Anybody defending this, saying “well he was in the autonomous zone”, honestly I feel bad for you, that you carry that much hate and anger in your heart. That’s what people are trying to change. That’s why people are making these statements by protest and other means. If you enter a field of work that requires you to help people, HELP THEM. Period. They chose that job.”