Seattle police chief Carmen Best says she will retire. The move comes as the Seattle City Council has approved reducing the police department through layoffs and attrition. (August 11)
JENNY DURKAN: I have no doubt that Carmen Best will continue to lead, continue to fight for what is right, continue to be a voice for equity and changing policing and other systems that have perpetuated inequities and racism. It's unfortunate she will not do it here as our chief of police. This past weekend, as she said, she told me that she wanted-- it was time to resign. We've had many conversations over the last three weeks. My heart is, obviously, heavy to lose her. And I will freely admit, I wish she was staying.
It's why it has been so mystifying to watch the city council plow ahead without ever consulting her, talking to her, or listening to her pleas to be thoughtful-- not to set artificial targets, but instead to have a plan-- a plan that focuses on duties, mission, and outcomes.
CARMEN BEST: After we worked so incredibly hard to make sure that our department was diverse, that reflects the community that we serve, to just turn that all on a dime and hack it off without having a plan in place to move forward, it's highly distressful for me. And I really-- you know, it goes against my principles and my conviction. And I really couldn't do it.