by Carolyn Bick
The Emerald’s Watchdragon reporting seeks to increase accountability within our city’s institutions through in-depth investigative journalism.
During interviews with the Office of Police Accountability (OPA) in 2021, after her retirement, former Seattle Police Chief Carmen Best told investigators she was not involved in plans to abandon the Seattle Police Department’s East Precinct on June 8, 2020. But text messages obtained by the Emerald tell another story.
According to texts between Best and Assistant Police Chief Lesley Cordner, it appears that Best was in contact with former Mayor Jenny Durkan about the Seattle Police Department (SPD) removing items from the East Precinct and that she was aware, on the morning of June 8, 2020, of a plan to remove firearms, ammunition, and evidence from the building by 5 p.m. that day. (Note: The Emerald has redacted phone numbers that appeared in the above-linked text log transcript.)
This is not what Best told OPA investigators, according to the OPA’s Case Closed Summary (CCS) on the matter, and not the story she continued to tell media almost a year after the incident.Continue reading BREAKING: Texts Show Fmr. SPD Chief Best Involved in Plan to Abandon East Precinct