Seattle police chief calls for protesters to stop marches on her home

Posted 51 days ago


Seattle's police chief has pleaded with city officials to 'stop mob rule and do the right thing' after 'aggressive' protesters marched on her home Saturday.

Carmen Best wrote a letter to the council Monday two days after protesters showed up at her home Saturday night. Best, who opposes a 50 per cent cut in police funding, said council members need to 'forcefully call for the end of these tactics.'

Protesters recently also appeared outside the homes of Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan and some people on the City Council as demonstrations continue following the police killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis.

Best last month spoke out against a plan proposed by advocates to cut the police department budget by 50 per cent and reallocate the money to other community needs. 'We will be much less safe,' she warned.

The Seattle Times reports residents blocked a road into Best's neighborhood during the demonstrations. Footage appears to show armed neighbors blocking the road. A protester says: 'We don't have guns, you're the ones with guns.'

Neighbor Jamie Roulstone said: 'It was not peaceful. They were here to intimidate. Scare people. Scare children. There were children out there and they were asking them what schools they went to. They were yelling the most horrible things you’ve ever heard in your entire life.'

Best's letter said her neighbors 'were concerned by such a large group' and didn't allow protesters to 'trespass or engage in other illegal behavior in the area, despite repeated attempts to do so.'

But councilmember Tammy Morales said: 'I take exception to the response by our police chief who celebrated that her neighbors met with these young people with guns.'

Snohomish County Sheriff Adam Fortney said most of the protesters were dispersing or had already left when deputies arrived.

He said he spoke with Best, who was not at the home at the time, on the phone and 'assured her that his office would deploy whatever resources were necessary to protect her, her family and her property.'

Chief Best said: 'When the people showed up to my house, it certainly felt very personal about me. It really does seem like a mob mentality, and bullying, to intimidate a public official.'

Seattle City Council members are eyeing proposals to shrink the police department, starting with budget proposals that could reduce the force by as many as 100 officers through layoffs and attrition this year.

Most of the proposals, including cuts aimed at the SWAT team, encampment-removal team and mounted unit, appear to have enough support to pass.

Yet the package unveiled by some council members won't immediately accomplish what many protesters have been calling for, and what Best has issued warnings about: Reducing the Police Department's spending by at least 50 per cent and redirecting that money to other areas.

After it emerged seven of nine members of the Seattle City Council have indicated they support the plan to cut the department's budget in half Best said: 'I'm hoping that the council will reconsider this very rash and reckless decision and allow us to do the work that we'r... (Read more)