MYNORTHWEST NEWS

Kshama Sawant wants East Precinct converted to community center

Jun 12, 2020, 5:15 AM | Updated: 10:23 am

East Precinct, Seattle, CHOP...

The East Precinct in what was known as the Capitol Hill Occupied Protest. (Getty Images)

(Getty Images)

Seattle City Councilmember Kshama Sawant tweeted Thursday night that she wants the now empty East Precinct converted into a community center.

Sawant plans to introduce legislation to that effect at some point in the days ahead, ultimately hoping to have the building operate with a focus on restorative justice.

Protesters have been camped out in what is now known as the Capitol Hill Autonomous Zone for days, after police made the decision to leave the area entirely earlier in the week.

Police have stated their intent to eventually reoccupy the East Precinct at some point in the future. On Thursday, Chief Carmen Best visited the building for the first time since it was cleared out, saying that 911 response times to the area have tripled without regular access to the precinct.

“It is not right for us to not be able to deploy our officers here,” she said.

Best said during a news conference on Thursday that response times have increased three times longer than the average since the precinct closed.

Mayor Jenny Durkan intimated that she is working with Chief Best “to understand how we can continue to build trust between our Seattle Police officers and the community around the East Precinct.”

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Kshama Sawant wants East Precinct converted to community center