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Following the rioting and crime that occurred during the occupation of a 16-block area of Seattle during the summer of 2020 (CHOP) a group of area business owners sued the City of Seattle, claiming they allowed the mayhem to occur and they suffered damages because of it.

  Settlement reached, say sources

Wednesday, February 15th, reports a tentative settlement has been reached before a US District Court Judge in Seattle.

Judge Thomas Zillly wrote in his first order there was evidence of  "gross negligence" on the part of the city, and there was significant evidence that city officials tried to hide the deletion of thousands of text messages from their city-owned cellphones.

This was done, said Zilly, as the city was facing a growing number of lawsuits over the Capitol Hill occupied zone that saw robberies, theft, rioting, rape, and two murders before it was finally disbanded.

 In January Judge Zillly handed down sanctions against the city over the deletion of these text messages, and the sanctions included the former Mayor and Chief of Police.

Now, a tentative settlement has been reached, but the amount is not being disclosed. Last May, Judge Zilly dismissed the plaintiffs' original attempt to make this a class action lawsuit.

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According to the court papers, there were at least a dozen businesses listed as the ones who were suing the city. The CHOP zone lasted from June into July of 2020.

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