The Seattle police chief said of CHAZ: “Leaving the station was not my decision.”

SPD travels to the empty eastern district (Image: Matt Mitgang)

In a video message posted on Thursday, she said she was prepared for her simple officers. Carmen Best, Seattle Police Chief withdrawn from the show of the unit she held with Mayor Jenny Durkan Over the course of two weeks anti-police protests here to express their anger over the decision to empty the East Precinct Headquarters on the 12th and pine.

“The decision to get into the precinct – our precinct, our home, the first precinct I worked in – was something that I held back,” says Best in the three-and-a-half-minute video in which he addresses officials. “You should know that it wasn’t my decision to leave the station.”

In the meantime, the boss and top SPD brass visited the building on Thursday morning to take a tour and assess the damage to the graffiti-covered but still very standing building. Above her, the station’s sign saying “Seattle PEOPLE Department East Precinct” was sprayed.

As they went inside, a crowd of neighbors, media outlets, and protesters gathered in hopes of learning more about the fate of the building.


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While it’s vital for those who live and do business in the neighborhood, and a key element in why the protests are primarily the focus here, the drama surrounding the building overshadows greater efforts and advances in police reform and justice for the black communities in Seattle Activists and elected officials are pushing to cut the SPD’s budget and increase social spending after the nationwide outcry against law enforcement brutality caused by the deaths of George Floyd.

From Sunday SPD hastily evacuated the 61,000 square meter building of equipment, lots of paperwork, and personal effects and made a surprise announcement that officers were pulled from the blockade at 12 and Pine. What followed was the formation of the Capitol Hill Autonomous Zone, Cal Anderson Comprehensive Camp and Protest Zone a few blocks away This now serves as the center for the Seattle rallies, marches and actions for Black Lives Matter and anti-police brutality protests.

Durkan and city officials have claimed the withdrawal from the precinct was “as part of proactive efforts to protect against possible damage or fire” after the mayor said the SPD had made decisions based on “specific information from the FBI” about threats to the The 12th and Pine Plant and other buildings in Seattle were hit.

Best’s video now seems to counteract this narrative. In the speech, Best expresses her anger over the Durkan government’s “change of course”.

“They fought for days to protect it,” she told officials. I have asked you to stand on this line day in and day out, be pelted with projectiles, yelled at, threatened, and in some cases injured. Then to have a change of course in almost two weeks – that seems like an insult to our community. “

Chef Best

Chef Best

“Ultimately, the city had other plans for the building and gave in to strong public pressure. I’m angry about how it all came about, “says Best.

UPDATE 3:50 p.m.: In an afternoon press conference, Best discussed the situation surrounding the district’s exit and described in tactical terms the process that arose from her decision to remove the barriers to protest and allow demonstrations outside of 12th and Pine.

“We dismantled the barricades because we really wanted to build trust,” she said.

But that decision was followed by actions by Best’s command, which the boss now says was not approved by her. Although she would not impose the decision on her command staff, Best reiterated that she did not intend to take responsibility for the decision to empty the building. “It didn’t come from me,” said Best.

The gymnastics left Mayor Durkan in a difficult position to support their boss’s failure to make a decision on Thursday afternoon.

Durkan also refused to speak from her and Best, who resigned after the protests. “We thought about a moment with Thelma and Louise,” said the mayor, referring to the climate scene in the 1991 story, in which two outlawed women were on the run.

Given the emerging broken priorities in Durkan’s office and Best’s command, which resulted in a city police station being emptied without the consent of Durkan or Best, either the leader can assure the neighbors, Black Lives Matter, or the CHAZ organizers that they will not only farmers are fighting for police reform?

Meanwhile, Best’s Video also reiterated the SPD’s concern over reports of armed checkpoints and the mob-like shutdown of companies in the zone – reports that CHS and others have reported contain no specific investigation or evidence.

“We have heard anecdotally that citizens and businesses are being asked to pay a fee to operate in this area. It’s a crime of extortion. ” Deputy Chief Deanna Nollette said Wednesday in a brief press conference, referring to A comment was sent to CHS from an alleged business owner. That commenter did not respond to our requests for more details on the allegation, and the FBI told CHS on Wednesday that it had received no reports or information about this type of activity in the area.

“If someone is affected, they have to call 911,” said Nolette.

The SPD also said it had “heard from parishioners that they were exposed to barricades erected by the demonstrators, with some armed people operating them as checkpoints in the neighborhood.” Another claim was repeated on social media and in comments on sites like CHS. Local residents’ reports describe a small number of people armed with rifles seen as guards near parking garages and areas where motor vehicles are driving near the camp. In her video, Best also says that SPD leaders “heard” about the armed patrols.

UPDATE x2: Mayor and Chief Best said Thursday afternoon that there are no documented reports to support the stories. The mayor said there had been “some vandalism” and “a fight” but nothing serious was documented. The department heard of the reports “anecdotally”, “Best said.

The violence demonstration by the police on Sunday now seems to have marked a turning point (Image: Noah Lubin with permission from CHS)

Governor Jay InsleeIn the meantime, he also issued a statement “on the situation on Capitol Hill.”

“Although inadmissible and we should remember that we are still in a pandemic, the area is largely peaceful,” wrote Inslee. “Peaceful protests are basically American, and I hope there will be a peaceful solution.”

While Best’s video was aimed at their officials, the SPD information office posted it on its public blog and on Twitter accounts. “I understand my comments in this message may get public, but I’m not worried about that,” says Best. “I stand by what I say. We have solid information to believe that if we left anti-government groups, whether through vandalism or arson, would destroy the district. “

On Thursday, Best admitted that nothing of the sort had happened and, whether she planned to or not, advocated stopping SPD’s aggressive show of crowd control tactics.

“Today the district stands still,” said Best. “No officers were injured, no violence was used.”


THANK YOU SO MUCH! WE MADE IT! 1,000 CHS SUBSCRIBERS – – We asked, you answered. Thanks for your support!
Support local journalism in your neighborhood. SUBSCRIBE HERE. Sign up to become a subscriber $ 1 / $ 5 / $ 10 per month to assist CHS in providing community news NO PAYWALL. You can also sign up for a one-time annual payment.


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