Seattle cops forcibly clear 'occupied' zone, arrest dozens

A protester stands with her hand up in front of a road blocked by Seattle police in the Capitol Hill Organized Protest zone early Wednesday, July 1, 2020. Police in Seattle have torn down demonstrators' tents in the city's so-called occupied protest zone after the mayor ordered it cleared. (AP Photo/Aron Ranen)

SEATTLE (AP) - Wearing helmets and wielding batons and rifles, Seattle police turned out in force at dawn Wednesday in the city's "occupied" protest zone after the mayor ordered it cleared following two recent fatal shootings.

Officers stood shoulder-to-shoulder on several streets while others created a makeshift fence with their bicycles, using it to push dozens of protesters back away from the center of the "Capitol Hill Occupied Protest" zone just east of downtown. The group had occupied several blocks around a park for about two weeks after police abandoned a precinct station following standoffs and clashes that were part of the nationwide unrest over the killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis.

As residents in the neighborhood watched from balconies, police cleared out the protesters' tents from the park and made sure no one was left in the park's bathrooms.

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