SPD Publicly Released Video Without Clarification
by Carolyn Bick
The Emerald’s Watchdragon reporting seeks to increase accountability within our city’s institutions through in-depth investigative journalism.
In the late morning of June 11, 2020, shortly before 11 a.m., the Seattle Police Department (SPD) released a video of its now-former Chief Carmen Best relaying a message to officers, following the internal and public fallout of the Seattle police’s decision to abandon the East Precinct.
In that video, Best claimed that SPD had received reports of armed people patrolling the area, and that these same armed people “may be demanding payment from business owners in exchange for some of that protection. We’ve also heard that they may be demanding to see identification for people who live in the area. This is not legal.”
But about 17 hours earlier, at 6:10 p.m. on June 10, 2020, Best — along with several other high-ranking City officials, including a host of core mayoral staffers, as well as SPD Assistant Chief Thomas Mahaffey and now-interim Chief Adrian Diaz — received an updated ground intelligence report email from then-acting Dir. of the Office of Emergency Management (OEM) Laurel Nelson. The report specifically stated that the above claims about extortion and identification demands were untrue, per an OEM staffer’s site visit to investigate the claims.Continue reading BREAKING: Claims in Fmr. SPD Chief Best Video Discredited by OEM the Day Before