Seattle’s Police Chief told her department on Thursday that it was “not my decision” to abandon a precinct in an area of the city now taken over by protesters — and blasted city officials for giving in to the demonstrators.
In a video address published on the department’s YouTube page, Chief Carmen Best said the city “relinquished to severe public pressure.”
“You fought for days to protect [the precinct]. I asked you to stand on that line. Day in and day out, to be pelted with projectiles, to be screamed at, threatened and in some cases hurt,” Best told the force.
“Then to have a change of course nearly two weeks in, it seems like an insult to you and our community.”
“Ultimately the city had other plans for the building and relented to public pressure,” she added. “I’m angry about how this all came about.”
Her comments came a day after the department said it would try to reopen the East Precinct.
The area around the precinct had became a hotbed of confrontations between protesters and cops over the last two weeks during demonstrations over the death of George Floyd, the black Minneapolis man whose cop-involved death has sparked a global movement against racial injustice.
Officers used tear gas, pepper spray and flash bangs over the weekend to disperse demonstrators they said were assaulting them with projectiles.
The building was shuttered on Monday, amid growing demands from the protesters.
They have since occupied a six-block perimeter dubbed “CHAZ” — short for the “Capitol Hill Autonomous Zone” — around the now-deserted precinct.
The situation caught the attention of President Trump, who on Thursday demanded that local authorities step in to take the streets back — or he will.
“Radical Left Governor @JayInslee and the Mayor of Seattle are being taunted and played at a level that our great Country has never seen before. Take back your city NOW. If you don’t do it, I will,” the president tweeted on Thursday.
“This is not a game. These ugly Anarchists must be stopped IMMEDIATELY. MOVE FAST!”
With Post wires
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