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After participating in a March for Silence protest, Seattle Police Chief Carmen Best says she experienced an epiphany that led her to believe that policing will never the be the same and that big changes are on the horizon in the way law enforcement goes about its business.
In an interview on CBS Face the Nation on Sunday morning, Best discussed the insight that she experienced at a Black Lives Matter march with host Margaret Brennan:
“I was looking at the 60,000 people that were there, signs saying, you know, ‘defund the police,’ ‘Stop police brutality,’ you know, ‘No qualified immunity,’ and there were thousands of people carrying those particular signs.
“I just realized there was a moment, and epiphany that this is a pivotal moment in history. We are going to move in a different direction, and police willing never be the same as it was before.”
Earlier this month, Chief Best deflected responsibility for the decision to abandon the East Police Precinct to anarchists whom with impunity, took over the six-block, so-called Capitol Hill Autonomous Zone (CHAZ) in Seattle. The chief said city officials made that call.
Later in the interview, Chief Best reaffirmed her epiphany about what the future might hold, especially given the police-involved shooting incident in Atlanta.
“I was mentioning earlier that I was at the Black Lives Matter march. And I saw many people carrying signs about defunding the police and police brutality and looking at resolving the qualified immunity issue. So I know standing there watching and listening that we’re going to change in policing. We have to. It has to be a movement that involves everybody. We need to re-imagine and refigure out, if you will, how we’re going the move forward as a country and as an organization to make things better for everybody. It’s incredibly difficult, but with every challenge, there’s opportunity.”
It remains to be seen if this re-imagining actually improves public safety for law-abiding citizens of all backgrounds or is just capitulation to a radical mob.
Best added that specific changes in the law that grants cops qualified legal immunity for their on-duty actions, including potential misconduct, should be left to elected officials and the judicial system to sort out.
Chief Best also downplayed the chaos inside CHAZ, a.k.a. the Capitol Hill Occupied Protest, claiming the area was peaceful “for now,” but that she had no idea how long the six-block enclave would continue under the control of what President Trump on down considers radical left extremists. She insisted that cops want to return to the vacated police precinct.
“We’re really trying to take a methodical, practical approach to reach a resolution where everyone gets out of here safely,” she asserted.
Perhaps to the surprise of no one given the lawlessness in play, the chief also acknowledged that city officials were encountering difficulties trying to determine who is actually in charge there so that officials can negotiate with them.
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