Seattle Police Chief Carmen Best has officially resigned after the Democrat-controlled Seattle City Council voted on Monday to slash millions of dollars from the Seattle Police Department’s budget.
News broke within the around 9 p.m. PST that Best was expected to resign tomorrow, and about 30 minutes later she had reportedly submitted her letter of resignation to the Seattle Police Department.
— (((Jason Rantz))) on KTTH Radio (@jasonrantz) August 11, 2020
“Chief Best has been an outspoken critic of the council’s plans to cut SPD’s budget, citing concerns over public safety in a scenario where the department is forced to lose personnel,” KIRO radio reported. “She has served as SPD’s police chief since 2018, after moving through the ranks as an officer, sergeant, lieutenant, captain, and deputy chief.”
Q13 Fox reporter Brandi Kruse confirmed the report, writing, “Seattle Police Chief @CarmenBest is going to resign, two sources familiar with her decision confirm. The announcement is imminent, I’m told. There is an 11am presser scheduled for tomorrow with the Mayor. Unclear if announcement will take place then.”
BREAKING: Seattle Police Chief @CarmenBest is going to resign, two sources familiar with her decision confirm. The announcement is imminent, I'm told. There is an 11am presser scheduled for tomorrow with the Mayor. Unclear if announcement will take place then. (THREAD) #Q13FOX pic.twitter.com/K5D7GRyfmA
— Brandi Kruse (@BrandiKruse) August 11, 2020
“Chief Best has been vocal in her opposition to those cuts, and told me in an interview today that she felt targeted by a “punitive” proposal to cut her pay by 40%: ‘I do feel like it’s … animus toward me specifically,” Kruse continued.”Chief Carmen Best is the first black woman to lead the @SeattlePD. She is well respected by the rank and file, as well as community leaders. Seattle’s political and activist class will have to own this.”
Chief Carmen Best is the first black woman to lead the @SeattlePD. She is well respected by the rank and file, as well as community leaders. Seattle's political and activist class will have to own this. (END THREAD) pic.twitter.com/ivvHlwLYWz
— Brandi Kruse (@BrandiKruse) August 11, 2020
Best’s move to resign comes after the Seattle City Council announced on Monday that it was cutting roughly $3 million from the budget, including:
- Cut 32 officers from patrol – $533,000
- Reduced specialized units including officers assigned to mounted unit, school resource officers, homeland security, harbor patrol, SWAT team – $250,000
- Removed officers from Navigation Team, ensuring homeless neighbors are not retraumatized by armed patrol officers – $216,000
- Reduced staff budget through recognizing expected attrition – $500,000
- Reduced administrative costs, including salaries, community outreach, public affairs
- Cut $56,000 from training and travel expenses
- Cut recruitment and retention – $800,000
- Transferred victim advocates from SPD to Human Services Department – $377,000 impact
- Removed two sworn officer positions from the 911 Emergency Call Center
Best was targeted at the start of the month by “aggressive” far-left activists who showed up to her home, which she responded to by asking that the City Council stand up against “mob rule.”
“I wanted to update you on recent events, particularly those that occurred late last night,” Best wrote in a letter addressed to City Council President Lorena González and Public Safety Chair Lisa Herbold. “A residence of mine in Snohomish County was targeted by a large group of aggressive protestors late last night. My neighbors were concerned by such a large group, but they were successful in ensuring the crowd was not able to trespass or engage in other illegal behavior in the area, despite repeated attempts to do so. Currently, the local sheriff (not SPD resources) is monitoring the situation.”
“I urge both of you, and the entire council, to stand up for what is right. These direct actions against elected officials, and especially civil servants like myself, are out of line with and go against every democratic principle that guides our nation,” Best continued. “Before this devolves into the new way of doing business by mob rule here in Seattle, and across the nation, elected officials like you must forcefully call for the end of these tactics.”
“The events of this summer were initiated in a moment of grief and outrage over the murder of George Floyd by Minneapolis police officers and so many other Black and Brown people suffering at the hands of injustice,” Best concluded. “All of us must ensure that this righteous cause is not lost in the confusion of so many protestors now engaging in violence and intimidation, which many are not speaking against.”
This report has been updated to include additional information.
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