Seattle Police Chief Points Blame for 'Autonomous Zone' Debacle at City Officials


Seattle Police Department Chief Carmen Best addressed her officers in a video Thursday and blamed the takeover of the area surrounding the police department’s abandoned East Precinct building on city officials.

“The decision to board up the precinct — our precinct, our home, the first precinct I worked in — was something I had been holding off,” she said.

“You should know, leaving the precinct was not my decision.”

On Monday, following days of protests over the death of George Floyd, who died on May 25 in Minneapolis after a police officer knelt on his neck for roughly nine minutes during an arrest, Seattle police boarded up and left the East Precinct building, Fox News reported.

A crowd of protesters have since taken over the surrounding area and have made it an “autonomous” and “cop-free zone.”

'As Wild as It Gets': World No. 1 Golfer Scottie Scheffler Detained by Police Shortly Before PGA Championship Tee Time

Signs outside the barricade have hand-written messages including “Capitol Hill Autonomous Zone” and “You are now leaving the USA.”

Protesters even painted over the word “Police” on the Seattle Police Department’s sign and have replaced it with “people,” Newsweek reported.

“You fought for days to protect it. I asked you to stand on that line, day in and day out — to be pelted with projectiles, to be screamed at, threatened and in some cases hurt,” Best said in her video.

Do you think the governor should do something about this situation?


There were protests in the area all week and many grew violent; a man allegedly drove into a crowd of protesters on Sunday night and shot someone near the police building, according to Fox News.

The police chief added that boarding up the building and changing course “seems like an insult to [the officers] and our community” and that she was “angry about how all this came about.”

“Ultimately, the city had other plans for the building and relented to severe public pressure,” Best said.

“We had solid information to believe that anti-government groups would destroy the precinct once we left, whether through vandalism or arson.”

Watch: Time-Lapse Shows How K-9 Unit Hunts Someone Down in the Middle of the Woods

Best added that the Seattle Fire Department was on hand when they left to protect the surrounding community from any serious fire.

In a Thursday tweet, President Donald Trump responded to the situation in Seattle and commanded Gov. Jay Inslee to take back his city.

“This is not a game. These ugly Anarchists must be stopped IMMEDIATELY. MOVE FAST!” he tweeted.

Truth and Accuracy

Submit a Correction →

We are committed to truth and accuracy in all of our journalism. Read our editorial standards.

, , , , ,
Erin Coates was an editor for The Western Journal for over two years before becoming a news writer. A University of Oregon graduate, Erin has conducted research in data journalism and contributed to various publications as a writer and editor.
Erin Coates was an editor for The Western Journal for over two years before becoming a news writer. She grew up in San Diego, California, proceeding to attend the University of Oregon and graduate with honors holding a degree in journalism. During her time in Oregon, Erin was an associate editor for Ethos Magazine and a freelance writer for Eugene Magazine. She has conducted research in data journalism, which has been published in the book “Data Journalism: Past, Present and Future.” Erin is an avid runner with a heart for encouraging young girls and has served as a coach for the organization Girls on the Run. As a writer and editor, Erin strives to promote social dialogue and tell the story of those around her.
Tucson, Arizona
Graduated with Honors
Bachelor of Arts in Journalism, University of Oregon
Books Written
Contributor for Data Journalism: Past, Present and Future
Prescott, Arizona
Languages Spoken
English, French
Topics of Expertise
Politics, Health, Entertainment, Faith