Police and fire units responding to reports of a fire started by protestors at a business in the 1400 block of E Olive Way.
— Seattle Police Dept. (@SeattlePD) July 23, 2020
City Council Ordinance 119805, issued by the City Council earlier this week, bans tear gas, blast balls and other anti-protest gear used to disperse crowds and protect officers when crowds turn violent.
U.S. District Judge James Robart ruled Wednesday that the City Council’s plan could proceed — despite an attempt by Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan and Best to stop the plan.
The mayor and the police chief submitted a motion arguing that the new law would conflict with an eight-year-old settlement on a policing-overhaul agreement struck between the Seattle Police Department and the U.S. Justice Department.
Seattle’s Chief of Police Carmen Best has penned a letter to the city’s residents and business owners, informing them that they’re on their own against this Sunday’s anticipate violent protests because her hands are tied by the City Council.
Dated yesterday, July 24, 2020, the letter reads as follows (source: The Magazine):
July 24, 2020
Dear Business Owner and/or Resident:
Please know that the Seattle Police Department is committed to addressing life safety incidents and calls for service, and responding to ongoing demonstrations and unrest in the city.
Please also know that the City Council Ordinance 119805 Crowd Control Tool goes into effect this weekend on Sunday, July 26, 2020. This ordinance bans Seattle police officers the use of less lethal tools, including pepper spray that is commonly used to disperse crowds that have turned violent. Simply put, the legislation gives officers NO ability to safely intercede to preserve property in the midst of a large, violent crowd.
It is important to bring to your attention that yesterday, I sent the City Council a letter ensuring them as the Chief of Police, I have done my due diligence of informing them numerous times of the foreseeable impact of this ordinance on upcoming events. The letter is attached for your reference.
For these reasons, Seattle Police will have an adjusted deployment in response to any demonstration this weekend — as I will never ask our officers to risk their personal safety to protect property without the tools to do so in a safe way.
Chief of Police
Stand in solidarity with #Portland on #J25.
-Form an affinity group.
-Coordinate am action.
-Challenge the police state.
-Don’t back down.#ACAB #PortlandProtest #PortlandMoms #BlackLivesMatter. pic.twitter.com/ub7EqoYiPF
— PNW Youth Liberation Front (@PNWYLF) July 20, 2020
MOSTLY PEACEFUL PROTESTORS: Federal agents likely permanently blinded by Portland protesters’ lasers, White House says.
SEATTLE — A federal judge issued a temporary restraining order, blocking an ordinance that would ban the use of tear gas, pepper spray and other tools used by Seattle police to disperse a crowd.
The decision comes after a hearing was held at 8 p.m. Friday, with the U.S. Department of Justice seeking to stop the ban on tear gas, arguing it likely violates the consent decree the Seattle Police Department is under.
It also comes as police Chief Carmen Best put a directive in place ahead of the Seattle City Council’s ban that would go into effect Sunday.