FACTS

    Seattle Police Chief Carmen Best, the city’s first black chief of police, has announced she will resign after the city council approved budget cuts to the Seattle Police Department (SPD) and said they will be reducing the number of officers in the force. The city council’s plan also “included discussions of deeper cuts that could approach the 50 percent threshold next year, one of the most ambitious plans for police restructuring in the country.”

    RIGHT

    The Right condemns the funding cuts and mourns the loss of Best from her position. Best condemned the budget decrease and argued that reducing an already understaffed force would be “detrimental.” Rep. Doug Collins (R-GA) tweeted, “When our city leaders turn their backs on our officers time and time again, the good cops quit.”

    “I think the current rush to reform the police through dramatic budget cuts and calls to eliminate police departments has left chiefs throughout the country in untenable situations. We are losing incredibly talented and dedicated public servants at a time when our country needs them most.”

    Dr. Frank Straub, Director of the Center for Mass Violence Response Studies at the National Police Foundation

    LEFT

    The Left supports police department funding cuts but also mourns Best’s resignation. Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkin, a Democrat, said it was “with a heavy heart” that the city would say goodbye to Best as police chief, and the local Black Lives Matter chapter criticized the city council for not trying harder to work together. However, the SPD has been criticized for what some have viewed to be an overly aggressive response to protestors and riots in recent months of social unrest. One city council member expressed outrage at the council’s lack of urgency in implementing even greater policing change:

    “It represents a total abdication of responsibility — an abdication of responsibility in the context of the historic movement for Black lives.”

    Kshama Sawant, Seattle City Council Member
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