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Protesters in the CHOP zone on June 24. Photo: David Ryder/Getty Images

Seattle police swept through the city's Capitol Hill Organized Protest zone, or CHOP, Wednesday morning in riot gear and tactical vehicles in an attempt to vacate the area, the department tweeted.

Why it matters: Calls to shut down the protests have grown since four shootings in the area have resulted in multiple injuries and deaths, including one Monday that killed a 16-year-old boy and wounded a 14-year-old boy.

The big picture: The Seattle Police Department tweeted that officers arrested around a dozen protesters who refused to leave the area.

  • The zone gained national attention after protesters occupied the vacated police East Precinct as a demonstration against police brutality and the death of George Floyd.
  • Previous attempts to shutdown the zone have failed.

What they're saying: "Today, Mayor Jenny Durkan issued a 48-hour public safety emergency order to vacate the East Precinct/ Cal Anderson area," Seattle Police Chief Carmen Best said in a statement.

  • "This order, and our police response, comes after weeks of violence in and around the Capitol Hill Organized Protest zone, including four shootings, resulting in multiple injuries and the deaths of two teenagers."
  • "As I have said, and I will say again, I support peaceful demonstrations. Black Lives Matter, and I too want to help propel this movement toward meaningful change in our community."

Go deeper ... The big picture: George Floyd protests

Go deeper

California passes a swath of police reform laws

California Gov. Gavin Newsom speaking in Los Angeles in 2019. Photo: Agustin Paullier/AFP via Getty Images

California Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) on Wednesday signed collection of policing bills that outlaw the use of chokeholds, allow the state Department of Justice to investigate police shootings and give counties added oversight of sheriff's departments, according to a statement from his office.

Why it matters: The laws add to the wave of reform bills introduced across the U.S. after the May police killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis. Newsom also signed bills related to the state's juvenile justice system and legal protections.

3 hours ago - World

Scoop: Iran preparing to enrich weapons-grade uranium, Israel warns U.S.

Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi holds a press conference. Photo: Presidency of Iran handout via Getty

Israel has shared intelligence over the past two weeks with the U.S. and several European allies suggesting that Iran is taking technical steps to prepare to enrich uranium to 90% purity — the level needed to produce a nuclear weapon, two U.S. sources briefed on the issue tell me.

Why it matters: Enriching to 90% would bring Iran closer than ever to the nuclear threshold. The Israeli warnings come as nuclear talks resume in Vienna, with Iran returning to the negotiating table on Monday after a five-month hiatus.

Biden: Fight against Omicron won't include "shutdowns or lockdowns"

Photo: Mandel Ngan/AFP via Getty Images

President Biden on Monday said that the new coronavirus variant, Omicron, is "a cause for concern, not a cause for panic."

Driving the news: Biden said later this week the administration will be releasing a strategy on how "we're going to fight COVID this winter. Not with shutdowns or lockdowns, but with more widespread vaccinations, boosters, testing and more."