Instead of focusing on using “batons and riots shields,” the Seattle Police Department should be focusing on ways to de-escalate and ensure protesters are safe. The recent comments by SPD do not promote community trust, particularly in the face of potential unconstitutional and violent intervention by federal troops.
We love our community. We support the right to protest. We want to see our relatives protected. To that end, the Community Police Commission challenges Chief Carmen Best and the Seattle Police Department to keep the best interest of the Community in mind – their safety. We implore them to implement best practices around de-escalation and peaceful engagements. As you ask Community to trust in you, we ask you to extend that trust to Community. We ask SPD leadership and officers to support the Community’s right to protest and to be protected.
Focusing on the degree of force SPD intends to use on protesters, rather than the ways in which SPD can protect First Amendment rights and public safety does not promote community trust. Attempting to undermine laws implemented to address SPD’s own officers’ unprecedented use of force against protesters does not promote community trust. This response demonstrates that even seven years after the consent decree went into effect, there is still much work remaining to dismantle the warrior mentality of police officers.