On Saturday, August 1, over 200 "aggressive protestors" showed up at the home of Seattle Police Chief Carmen Best in 40 cars about 7 p.m. on Saturday night. Witness reports say the crowd was white, dressed in black, and carrying BLM signs. This according to the Lynnwood Times.
In response, Chief Best sent a letter urging the Seattle City Council to"forcefully call for the end of these tactics" and to stop Seattle from devolving "into the new way of doing business by mob rule."
In a letter written to the Seattle City Council, Chief Best claimed that "A residence of mine in Snohomish County was targeted by a large group of aggressive protestors late last night." Snohomish is about a 40 minute drive from Seattle. According to Best, her "neighbors were concerned by such a large group, but they were successful in ensuring the crowd was not able to trespass or engage in other illegal behavior in the area, despite repeated attempts to do so."
Seattle watchdog group Safe Seattle claims that there was property damage and that Best was not home at the time of the incident. Another source told Safe Seattle that Best's neighbors blocked the road and wouldn't let the mob come on to the Chief's property, which, would indicate that if property damage was done, it wasn't done at Best's home.
Safe Seattle also said that according to SPD sources, "SPD was mobilized last night on the assumption that the mob would return to its Seattle base of operations and wreck havoc here, but only some 20 people showed up…"
"Black Lives Matter protestors shouted profanity and insults at neighbors, took license plate information on vehicles, took pictures of homes, and asked little kids who lived in the neighborhood what schools they attended. Other BLM protesters carrying large duffle bags attempted to make their way to Chief Best’s private residence. When confronted by neighbors to show the content of the large duffle bags, protesters refused to cooperate. There were no reports of any physical altercations."
Neighbors told the Lynnwood Times that some of their private information has been publicly disclosed on social media and they are afraid for their safety.
One resident and witness said of BLM tactics: "They were very organized. They had radios, talking to each other, they had numbers they used to decal all their cars for who knows what. So, they were identifying all their vehicles individually by number. They came with a mission…They were out here intimidating us."
Rioters and demonstrators have been targeting Seattle officials homes for weeks, most notably vandalizing the homes of Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan as well as city council members Alex Pederson and harassing Council Member Deborah Juarez. All three have had reservations at the 50 percent police defunding proposal. Demonstrators have also shown up at the homes of council members who have pledged to defund SPD including Lisa Herbold, Teresa Mosqueda and Tammy Morales as well as council President Lorena Gonzalez.
Messages written on Pedersen's windows included, "Don't be racist trash" and "F*** you." The mayor's office reports that messages written on the street at Durkan’s home included "Guillotine Jenny" and "Resign Bitch." Durkan's address is protected under a state confidentiality program due to threats related to her time as a US attorney. Despite this, it was Seattle city council member Kshama Sawant who organized and led a crowd to the location.
In a statement to the Lynnwood Times, Snohomish County Sheriff Adam Fortney wrote, "I assured her [Best] that the Snohomish County Sheriff’s Office would deploy whatever resources were necessary to protect her, her family, and her property."
In her letter, Chief Best urged the council to: "…stand up for what is right. These direct actions against elected officials, and especially civil servants like myself, are out of line with and go against every democratic principle that guides our nation."
Chief Best continued by stating her concerns that the situation would devolve into "the new way of doing business by mob rule here in Seattle, and across the nation" and that "elected officials like you must forcefully call for the end of these tactics."
Best concluded the letter by addressing her feelings on the violent riots across the country: "The events of this summer were initiated in a moment of grief and outrage over the murder of George Floyd by Minneapolis police officers and so many other Black and Brown people suffering at the hands of injustice. All of us must ensure that this righteous cause is not lost in the confusion of so many protestors now engaging in violence and intimidation, which many are not speaking against."
Chief Best's full letter can be read here.
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