Seattle Police Chief To Resign After City Council's Vote to Defund Police

The Seattle City Council on Monday voted 8-1 to defund its police force, and swipe 100 jobs along the way. Not long after that, Seattle PD Chief Carmen Best announced she would tender her resignation, which takes effect the second day of September.

Best said the department was going through "difficult times" with ongoing protests against police brutality that ramped up after the death of George Floyd, who died while in custody of the Minneapolis police on May 25 this year.

Best wished goodwill to the department she will leave in a few weeks.

"I wanted to notify you that I will be retiring from the Seattle Police Department, effective September 2nd, 2020," Best wrote in a letter to her department that was obtained by Newsweek. "I wanted you to hear this from me, but some media have reached this conclusion on their own. This was a difficult decision for me, but when it's time, it's time."

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Seattle Police Chief Carmen Best
Seattle Police Chief Carmen Best addresses the press as city crews dismantle the Capitol Hill Organized Protest (CHOP) area outside of the Seattle Police Department's vacated East Precinct on July 1, 2020 in Seattle, Washington. Photo by David Ryder/Getty Images

Though the city council overwhelmingly voted to defund the department and cut about 100 jobs from the force—and slice the chief's salary of nearly $285,000—one city council member, Kshama Sawant, cast the lone "no" vote because she didn't think cuts to the police department went far enough.

Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan said it was "unfortunate" its council could not come to an agreement with Chief Best while formulating the upcoming city budget.

"It is unfortunate Council has refused to engage in a collaborative process to work with the Mayor, Chief Best, and community members to develop a budget and policies that respond to community needs while accounting for – not just acknowledging – the significant labor and legal implications involved in transforming the Seattle Police Department," Durkan said in a statement.

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Black Lives Matter protesters wanted a 50 percent cut in the city's police force of 1,400 members, but that number was never reached through the council.

The Seattle council decided to not only slice into Best's salary, but even deeper into the high-ranking officers who are under her demand.

Best sent her best to those who will remain working in the Seattle PD uniform and force once she leaves on September 2.

"I am confident the department will make it through these difficult times. You truly are the best police department in the country, and please trust me when I say, the vast majority of people in Seattle support you and appreciate you," Best wrote to them.

"I am impressed daily at your skill, your compassion, and your dedication. I am thankful my command team has agreed to continue serving the department, and that I am confident the department will make it through these difficult times. You truly are the best police department in the country, and please trust me when I say, the vast majority of people in Seattle support you and appreciate you."

Seattle Police Chief To Resign After City Council's Vote to Defund Police | U.S.