Seattle Police Chief Carmen Best penned a letter to business owners Friday warning them that the police department will be unable to preserve property from violent protests in the wake of new city regulations.
According to the Daily Caller, Best told business owners that Seattle City Council Ordinance 119805 Crowd Control Tool prevents her officers from using less-lethal tools to disperse crowds.
“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,” Best said.
Best has also sent a letter to the City Council, warning them by saying, “I have done my due diligence of informing them numerous times of the foreseeable impact of this ordinance on upcoming events.”
On Thursday, Best letter told the Seattle City Council that the police department will have to avoid crowd control measures in the interest of officer safety. She also said that the city remains under attack.
“There is no reason not to assume we will continue to experience property destruction, arson, looting, and attempts to injure additional officers throughout the weekend and beyond,” Best wrote.
“If I am not allowed to lawfully equip officers with the tools they have been trained to use to protect the community and themselves, it would be reckless to have them confront this level of violence under the current legal restrictions imposed by the [Seattle City] Council,” Best added.
The Seattle Police Department Twitter account tweeted a phone of explosives allegedly thrown at officers during one of the protests.
Crowd continuing to throw large rocks, bottles, fireworks and other explosives at officers. pic.twitter.com/3gTGJUonUt— Seattle Police Dept. (@SeattlePD) July 26, 2020
The Daily Caller also reported that Seattle is in the process of defunding the police budget by 50 percent and shutting down its county jail, which currently holds 60 percent of its prison population.