June 8th will be the one-year anniversary of the official formation of the radical leftist Seattle encampment known as CHOP or CHAZ.
Against the wishes of former Seattle Police Chief Carmen Best, city leaders allowed the violent encampment to remain for nearly a month following their illegal occupation of her department’s East Precinct building, which was located in Seattle’s Capitol Hill district. This was after nearly two weeks of riots in the city that took place in the aftermath of the death of George Floyd.
As we wrote at the time, unlike city “leaders” like Mayor Jenny Durkan and Democratic council members, Best kept it real and never gaslit anyone about the dangerous situation the CHAZ/CHOP occupiers presented, nor did she blame her fellow officers for Durkan’s cowardice, which led to a 525% crime spike.
Best, who served nearly 3 decades with the Seattle PD, was rewarded for her brutal honesty about the situation with a deliberate city council vote to slash her pay. After she resigned in protest, even local reporters noted the irony of a supposedly progressive city effectively forcing out its first black female police chief over statements she made about the reality of the Black Lives Matter/Antifa-led encampment.
Nearly a year later, Best is speaking out about her time battling Durkan and others – including the media’s deceptions over the group’s occupation.
Best: “And the other thing that I found very curious during that time frame was that the destructive behavior, for whatever reason, I’m not sure if there’s a political reason or otherwise, did not get the level of publicity or media attention as… I would read stories about the peaceful protests. I go, “Well, part of it was peaceful.” But I was standing 20 feet away from a hail of rocks. I was looking right at them hail down, feet from me.”
Ratcliffe: “And then you read the media and find that they’re pretty much gaslighting you. It never happened.”
Best: “Yeah, it’s like, “What?” No. It was just a peaceful protest and the police just unleashed this tear gas and pepper spray. And it just wasn’t true. I mean, we did do it. And we obviously did it for reasons. And maybe in hindsight, maybe some of those times we could have waited longer or did something differently. Obviously, when you look back at things, you have more clarity. But the fact of the matter is it did happen and there were reasons. It wasn’t arbitrary.”
She also tried to clear the air over the decision to abandon the East Precinct, telling Ratcliffe that it was not her call to make. In addition to that, in a follow-up interview with the Seattle Times, Best noted how she was repeatedly dismayed by the city all but literally rolling out a welcome mat for the rioters taking over an entire city block, including how things like porta-potties, cookies, and hand sanitizer were brought out for the occupiers, which encouraged them to wreak more havoc. She pointed out that local leaders only seemed to take the matter seriously after the murders of two African-American men – teenagers Lorenzo Anderson and Antonio Mays Jr. – happened within the occupied zone in late June 2020.
The entire podcast was a fascinating read/listen from the perspective of someone on who a lot of the blame was misplaced for what happened. Once you read it, you’ll understand all over again what an idiotic decision it was for the council to force her out. While Best is better off without them, the city is clearly not better off without her.