SEATTLE -- Could a weeks-long protest to occupy part of a Capitol Hill neighborhood that became known as the CHOP be coming to an end?
An "official" Twitter account for the police-free zone says yes, but protesters in the area say no.
"The CHOP project is now concluded," read a Tweet posted by @CHOPOfficialSEA on Wednesday read. They said the group had left the nearby Cal Anderson Park area Tuesday night after getting word of a potential threat that did not materialize.
However, dozens of protesters are still gathered in the area outside of the East Precinct.
They say they have no plans to leave until their demands are met. These demands include cutting the police budget by 50 percent, allocating funds to community efforts such as restorative justice, and ensuring protesters who have been arrested are not prosecuted.
One person who would only identify themselves as one of the protesters who has been working at CHOP told KOMO News he takes issue with the statement that initiative had ended and they were not going to release the East Precinct until all their demands were met.
The Sentinels, who say they provided volunteer security to the CHOP zone released a statement on Wednesday announcing their withdrawal from the area.
"The situation is too dynamic, and our presence may have been a hindrance in the reduction of violence after the first shooting as it may have instilled a sense of security that simply wasn't there," the statement read. "We can't stop a murder of that sort. But we can move more potential victims away from the problem area and potentially save a life by doing so.:
The CHOP, short for "Capitol Hill Occupied Protest", was born from the local protests over Minneapolis Police officer's killing of George Floyd.
Protesters cordoned off the several-block area near the police's East Precinct after Seattle riot squads unleashed tear gas, pepper spray and flash-bangs on large crowds of mostly peaceful protesters, drawing condemnation from many city leaders and a federal court order temporarily banning the use of the weapons on demonstrators.
After police largely abandoned the building, protesters took over the area — with demonstrators painting a large “Black Lives Matter” mural on the street, handing out free food, playing music and planting a community garden. Its existence incensed Trump, who criticized Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan and Gov. Jay Inslee.
Peace has prevailed during the day with people lounged on the turf at a park, while volunteers handed out food, water and toiletries. Artists painted designs on wooden barricades, and a few candles burned in front of a sign on the police building listing people killed by officers.
At night, however, the atmosphere has become more charged, with demonstrators marching and armed volunteer guards keeping watch.
The situation grew more violent this week with four people wounded in three separate shootings in the area. A 19-year-old man was killed, and two others remain hospitalized.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.