Fox News reports addressing the takeover of the area surrounding the Seattle Police Department’s abandoned East Precinct building, Chief Carmen Best said in a video addressed to her officers Thursday major chaos had been averted but also that she was “angry about” how the situation unfolded.
After days of protests over the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis police custody, Seattle police boarded up and left the East Precinct building Monday night – and then a crowd of protesters set up barricades in the surrounding area, declaring it an “autonomous” and “cop-free zone.”
Images of the barricades show hand-written messages including “Capitol Hill Autonomous Zone” and “You are now leaving the USA.
“The decision to board up the precinct, our precinct, our home, the first precinct I worked in, was something I had been holding off,” Best said. “You should know, leaving the precinct was not my decision. “
The immediate area had seen more than a week of protests, with some of them growing violent. A man allegedly drove into a crowd of protesters Sunday night and shot someone just a block away from the building.
“You fought for days to protect it,” Best continued in her remarks. “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.”