Seattle Police Department Chief Carmen Best just announced her resignation on Monday evening after weeks of being attacked and handcuffed by the Seattle city council.
Attorney General Bill Barr issued a surprise statement on Tuesday about Best’s abrupt resignation, writing that he is “disheartened” by the news that Best felt that she could no longer do her job.
Best made it clear in her initial resignation announcement that she’s quitting because of “the disrespect shown all SPD officers” by the city’s decision to cut millions of dollars of the department’s funding.
“The Council gave us $1.6 million to hire the best, brightest and most diverse. Now they want me to layoff 100 of those officers. I can’t do that,” Best wrote. “I don’t want the people who work for me to be impacted by the animus directed toward me. That animus felt personal.”
Barr expressed his support for Best and her decision to directly call out the city’s leaders for their poor decision: “I was disheartened to learn of the resignation of Seattle Police Chief Carmen Best,” Barr said. “Her leadership and demonstrated commitment to her oath of office reflected all that is good about America’s law enforcement.”
“In the face of mob violence, she drew the line in the sand and said, “Enough!”, working tirelessly to save lives, protect her officers, and restore stability to Seattle,” Barr continued. “Her example should be an inspiration to all who respect the rule of law and cherish safety and security in their communities. This experience should be a lesson to state and local leaders about the real costs of irresponsible proposals to defund the police.”
Best, the first Black woman to lead the department, took office in August 2018 after working her way up the ranks of the department since her initial hiring in 1992.
Best was popular in the community when she was first appointed chief, but after Black Lives Matter activists began wreaking havoc on the city, Best found herself all on her own. When police were forced to abandon the East Precinct in the city’s Capitol Hill neighborhood in June, Best said that it wasn’t her decision to leave the precinct and blasted city leaders for bowing to the mob.
The city’s leadership refused to stand behind Best, and by extension, peaceful residents of the city. Best was hired to reform the SPD. After all her hard work, the city council erased her progress. It’s no wonder good cops are quitting their jobs in droves.