People with guns are checking the identification of individuals trying to enter an area in Seattle run by far-left activists and groups like Antifa, the Seattle Police Department said.
“We have been hearing from community members that they have been subjected to barricades set up by the protesters, with some armed individuals running them as checkpoints into the neighborhood,” Assistant Chief Deanna Nollette told reporters on Wednesday.
“While they have a constitutionally protected right to bear arms, and while Washington is an open carry state, there is no legal right for those arms to be used to intimidate community members,” she added.
Police officials have also heard of businesses and citizens being asked to pay a fee to operate in the area, which is known as the Capitol Hill Autonomous Zone and includes about 500 houses. That would be the crime of extortion, Nollette said.