‘Simply put, the legislation gives officers NO ability to safely intercede … in the midst of a large, violent crowd,’ the chief says.
Businesses and police precincts in Seattle boarded their properties in preparation for expected violent ANTIFA and Black Lives Matters riots this weekend. The protective measures were taken after Seattle Police Chief Carmen Best sent a letter to Seattle businesses and residents that police, having been stripped by the City Council of standard non-lethal riot control tools, will not be able to defend property from rioters.
Seattle’s police officers will now respond to protests and rioting through “adjusted deployment” methods because of a new city law that bans them from using some crowd-control tools, the city’s police chief said Friday.
The Seattle police chief is sending out letters telling residents: "We cannot enforce the law. You are on your own." pic.twitter.com/89jyezSBMS
— Christopher F. Rufo (@realchrisrufo) July 25, 2020
A bill unanimously passed last month by the city council that goes into effect this weekend bans police from the “ownership, purchase, rent, storage, or use of crowd control weapons” including “kinetic impact projectiles, chemical irritants, acoustic weapons, directed energy weapons, water cannons, disorientation devices, ultrasonic cannons, or any other device that is designed to be used on multiple individuals for crowd control and has the potential to cause pain or discomfort,” according to Gateway Pundit.
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. Fox News reports, 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.
“It is important to bring to your attention that yesterday, I sent the City Council a letter ensuring them that 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,” Best said Friday.
“For these reasons,” she continued, “Seattle Police will have an adjusted deployment in response to any demonstrations 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.”
Best’s announcement came less than a week after body-camera footage showed rioters throwing objects at Seattle officers last Sunday, resulting in injuries to 12 officers.