Carmen Best became the Chief of Police of the Seattle-Police-Department on the 13th of August 2018. In the 1990s, prior to being a Policeperson, Carmen was “an accountant for a local insurance company”. In 1992, she began her Career with the SPD. On the 1st of January 2018, she became acting Police-Chief after Kathleen O’Toole stepped down and on the 13th of August 2018 Seattle-City-Council voted unanimously to confirm her as permanent Police-Chief.
- I also want to say that i have, what i’ve been saying, actually for many, many Days, is what happened in Minneapolis was wrong. It was tragic and it was murder, the Murder of Goerge Floyd. And it hit us all in a real deep and unique Way, because it was so tragic to watch a Man die in Front of everybody after several Minutes, when he could have been saved and nobody did anything to intervene. I agree that the entire Justice-System, really all of our Systems, are grounded in a racist Past that is often not only anti Colour, but specifically anti Black and it perpetuates Disparity today. And yet i feel the Frustation of the People out there marching. And i know that there’s been a Lot of Talk from a Lot of Electeds and Others, but, you know, everyone’s comfortable talking, but who’s comfortable taking Action? What we need to do now is we need to listen before we respond. In so many Instances, none of it translating to Actions. I’m tired of waiting. Our Communities are tired of waiting. From my first Breath out of the Womb, i was a african-american Female. From my very first Breath. So i, that is who i am first and foremost, but i’m also the Police-Chief and i have sincere Responsibilities to make sure that i’m protecting the Public’s Safety, everybody’s Safety.
- And i want to conclude before we take Questions, which i understand is going to happen at the End of this Panel, with the Reminder that social Media is social Media. It’s not News. There are no Editors. They are People [that] have Agendas. There are, those Things that are posted are their Narratives and their Perspectives. We have to remind ourselves that Half-Truths and Hate and Propaganda have filled Social-Media-Networks for Years, whether it’s about Police or about any other demographic Group.
Teargas used during Protests on the 7th of June 2020
- So for the Teargas, it was my Decision. I think i prefaced that and i made it very clear that we did not want to use any of the Pepperspray, Flashbangs, Flash-Balls or Teargas, and we suspended the Use for 30 Days, unless there was a Life-Safety-Situation. And that was the Exemption. And i was keeping abreast of what was happening in the Precinct. They had a, you know, Shot, Shooting earlier in the Day. At some Point it got unruly. There was a Man with a Gun in the Crowd. Officers felt like there was a Life-Safety-Situation based on what was occurring and i concurred. And i own that Decision.
- I can categorically say i have never called out white Men, ever. I just don’t speak that Way. I…i just, I’ve never called out anyone as a white Man.