Seattle (June 8, 2020) – In an effort to proactively de-escalate interactions between protestors and law enforcement outside the East Precinct, Chief Best and the Seattle Police Department officers have removed barricades surrounding the East Precinct while safely securing the facility. In addition, the Seattle Fire Department has several apparatus stationed near the Precinct to ensure emerging medical needs and fires are addressed if necessary, when it’s safe for fire crews to respond. Access to the area is critical understanding that there are approximately 500 residential homes in the block.
“Every day Chief Best has continued to adjust her department’s approach to de-escalate situations and to try to facilitate peaceful demonstrations across the city. Keeping demonstrations peaceful must be a joint effort between our community members and law enforcement. And our accountability system and Chief must hold officers accountable for any misconduct or excessive use of force. As the Chief takes this operational step, we will continue to remain focused on what we can do address the systemic inequities that disproportionately our Black residents. Yesterday, we announced a commitment to invest $100 million dollars into community – in addition to the programs the City already has—and to work with community to create a Black Commission.”
The Seattle Police Department (SPD) will have personnel in place should the need arise to swiftly address acts of violence or property destruction.
Since the protests began just over one week ago, Mayor Durkan and Chief Best have implemented a series of updates to SPD’s crowd management policies and operations to prioritize de-escalation and reduce use of force. In addition, the Mayor and Chief continue to participate in conversations with community leaders to discuss how the City can better invest in Black youth and adults, prioritize programs that provide alternatives to arrest and incarceration, and increase accountability at the Seattle Police Department.