Tag Archives: Chief Carmen Best

Federal Agents Confirmed in Seattle — But No One Knows Where

by Carolyn Bick


After several days’ worth of confusion, city officials today confirmed that federal agents are here in Seattle — but nobody seems to know exactly where they are, or what they are planning to do.

Continue reading Federal Agents Confirmed in Seattle — But No One Knows Where

In Press Conference, Durkan, Best Focus on Just Two of Three Shootings That Happened Over the Weekend

by Carolyn Bick


Joined by several community leaders, Mayor Jenny Durkan and Seattle Police Chief Carmen Best addressed two weekend shootings that claimed the life of a 19-year-old Black teen and wounded two others in the Capitol Hill Organized Protest (CHOP).

In the June 22 press conference, Durkan and Best committed to working with different Black-led community organizations, including Community Passageways and Not This Time. Durkan said that she will be introducing a 2020 budget rebalancing plan that will make a point to invest in the Black community, in order to enhance public safety. In the name of both equity and public safety, Durkan also committed $5 million for mentoring and summer learning for Black youth.

She also said that police officers responded to almost 17,000 emergency calls within the last nine months, and that her budget process will examine the police budget. She said that police only respond “because the other systems in society have failed,” and that what the city needs is for certain services, like mental health workers or community-based workers, to be available to respond to some emergency calls.

Continue reading In Press Conference, Durkan, Best Focus on Just Two of Three Shootings That Happened Over the Weekend

Police Use Tear Gas on Capitol Hill Protestors, Allegedly Misuse Explosive Crowd Control Devices in Medic Tent

by Carolyn Bick


A young woman was reported to have almost lost her life in last night’s protests on Capitol Hill after Seattle Police Department (SPD) officers allegedly threw several flash bangs into the volunteer medic tent in which she was being treated for a chest injury from “a police projectile” — delaying treatment by attendant volunteer medics, according to one of the street medics who said they had been attending her. 

Around midnight that same evening, according to SPD’s own Twitter feed, as well as multiple tweets showing empty tear gas canisters, officers also used tear gas against protestors on Capitol Hill.

Continue reading Police Use Tear Gas on Capitol Hill Protestors, Allegedly Misuse Explosive Crowd Control Devices in Medic Tent

More Than 20 Local Reps Sign Letter Urging Mayor Durkan, Chief Best to Take Action to De-Escalate Police

by Carolyn Bick


The Emerald and other media organizations received a letter signed by more than 20 different local representatives calling on both Chief Carmen Best and Mayor Jenny Durkan to “take urgent and sustained action to de-escalate the police tactics used in daily protests.”

The Emerald was able to verify the authenticity of this letter, as it came from Rep. Nicole Macri (D-43rd). The letter is reprinted in its entirety below.

Continue reading More Than 20 Local Reps Sign Letter Urging Mayor Durkan, Chief Best to Take Action to De-Escalate Police

Update: SPD Said It Did Not Use Tear Gas Against Protestors Saturday Night

by Carolyn Bick


UPDATE: According to an Instagram post by The Stranger, the Seattle Police Department told The Seattle Times’ Lewis Kamb that it did not use tear gas against protestors Saturday night. SPD said that its officers used pepper spray, or OC gas. The Emerald has created a new story with an accordingly updated headline.

However, according to a Times story published June 5, health experts still worry that use-of-force tools like pepper spray that act as respiratory irritants can contribute to the spread of the novel coronavirus, because they could cause people to spit or cough, releasing virus-containing droplets.

Continue reading Update: SPD Said It Did Not Use Tear Gas Against Protestors Saturday Night

SPD Chief Best Addresses Reports of Officers Removing Badges, Suspends Use of Tear Gas for All But SPD SWAT Team

by Carolyn Bick


In a press conference addressing an update to crowd control tactics, particularly the use of tear gas, both Mayor Jenny Durkan and Seattle Police Department Chief Carmen Best said in a response to a question from the Emerald about on-the-ground reports of officers removing badges on the evening of June 4 that they had not heard of this happening.

Continue reading SPD Chief Best Addresses Reports of Officers Removing Badges, Suspends Use of Tear Gas for All But SPD SWAT Team

SPD Officers Only Required to Display Last Name and First Initial, Despite Potential Name Overlap

by Carolyn Bick


Police officers are allowed to cover their badge numbers, when in mourning, because they are required to wear their names on the left side of their uniforms, Mayor Jenny Durkan said in a press conference on June 1.

Continue reading SPD Officers Only Required to Display Last Name and First Initial, Despite Potential Name Overlap

Mayor’s Office Refuses to Budge on Encampment Removals as Nearly Six-Hour Meeting Ends in Stalemate

by Erica C. Barnett 

(This article was previously published on The C is for Crank and has been reprinted with permission.) 


If you’re looking for a takeaway from last Wednesday’s nearly six-hour hearing on legislation that would place some limits on the city’s authority to displace homeless people from encampments during the COVID-19 pandemic, it’s this: Nothing is going to change. Representatives from Mayor Jenny Durkan’s administration made it abundantly clear, loudly and repeatedly, that the mayor does not consider policies governing encampment sweeps to be a matter that can be legislated under any circumstance, and that now is also not the time for discussing non-legislative solutions, such as changes to the administrative rules governing encampment sweeps in general.

Continue reading Mayor’s Office Refuses to Budge on Encampment Removals as Nearly Six-Hour Meeting Ends in Stalemate

Man Endures Racist Taunts, Said SPD Was Unresponsive

by Ruth Bayang

(This article was previously published on Northwest Asian Weekly and has been reprinted with permission.) 


Insignificant. Unseen. Ignored.

That’s how Kert Lin, 35, of Seattle felt, as he heard someone yell “Chink, open your eyes, go back to China!” when he pulled into the parking lot of Home Depot on 2701 Utah Avenue South, just outside the International District (ID) on May 12.

Lin, a Chinese American, snapped a photo of the white man driving a company truck belonging to a local landscape company. The same man goaded Lin into getting out of his car while Lin called 911, all the while saying that calling the police would do no good, intimating that he couldn’t get fired because he was the owner of the landscape company, and that nothing would be done.

Lin said this happened in plain view of store security officers outside Home Depot.

Continue reading Man Endures Racist Taunts, Said SPD Was Unresponsive

City Says Racial Bias, Hate Will Not Be Tolerated; Response to Hate Crime at SoDo Home Depot Says Otherwise

by Matt Chan


What happened to Seattle elementary school teacher, Kert Lin, this past week at the Lander Home Depot should never happen to anyone. Kert was the target of an unprovoked racist verbal attack … an attack by someone who is so steeped in his own racial privilege that intimidating someone based on their race was just a mean joke.  

I am 67 years old and know a few things about racism. The one truth is that being on the receiving end of a racist attack is one of the loneliest places in the world. It’s primal and frightening. You’re alone facing a person or a gang of people who hate you because of the color of your skin. You are forced to make split second decisions that can mean life or death for yourself or those you love. When confronting a toxic mix of rage, ignorance, and entitlement, there are no good choices other than survival. The one thing that is certain — a victim of racism never views life the same, and each incident in your life holds its own unique horror.

Continue reading City Says Racial Bias, Hate Will Not Be Tolerated; Response to Hate Crime at SoDo Home Depot Says Otherwise