LOCAL NEWS

Mayor Durkan clarifies role in clearing of East Precinct

Jun 12, 2020, 8:48 AM | Updated: 11:52 am
Defunding the police, Seattle East Precinct...
Seattle's East Precinct. (Getty Images)
(Getty Images)

Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan clarified her role in the decision to empty the East Precinct on Capitol Hill.

A look inside Seattle’s newly-formed ‘Capitol Hill Autonomous Zone’

“After events on Sunday night, it was clear that the ongoing nightly protests at the East Precinct needed to be significantly defused and deescalated,” a written statement from the mayor’s office reads. “The East Precinct was a flashpoint, and the cycle of conflict between demonstrators and officers were harmful to residents, demonstrators, businesses, officers, and our city.”

According to Durkan’s office, the Seattle Police Department “presented options for changes to tactical and operational decisions to manage conflict points.”

That in turn led to Durkan’s decision to remove barriers blocking protesters from the East Precinct, and reduce the presence of officers and National Guard members in the area.

Durkan’s office further clarified in a subsequent statement that she did not directly order officers to leave the precinct herself, and that the decision was made by “SPD Frontline Commanders on site.”

This comes after Chief Best said Thursday that it was not her decision to leave the precinct, that it was the result of the city “relent[ing] to public pressure,” and labeling it “an insult” to officers.

Sawant wants East Precinct converted to community center

The mayor’s office also revealed that “some” personnel are now staffing the precinct again, although it’s unclear how many or what roles they’re currently performing.

Protesters were seen standing guard in front of the building overnight Friday.

Correction, 6/12/20: A previous version of this article stated that Mayor Durkan made the decision to have officers leave the East Precinct. It has been edited to reflect that she did not directly make that decision.

The full statement from Mayor Durkan’s office:

After events on Sunday night, it was clear that the ongoing nightly protests at the East Precinct needed to be significantly defused and deescalated. The East Precinct was a flashpoint, and the cycle of conflict between demonstrators and officers were harmful to residents, demonstrators, businesses, officers, and our city.

On Monday morning, the Seattle Police Department presented options for changes to tactical and operational decisions to manage conflict points.

After the consultation with Chief Best, Mayor Durkan determined the situation would best be deescalated by removing the barriers and large presence of officers and the National Guard. The Mayor supported access to Pine Street for peaceful demonstrations Monday evening. Chief Best asked SPD to operationalize this decision.

Because of potential threats to the precinct, Frontline Commanders worked quickly through an operational plan to ensure the security of the precinct and safety of officers. It was determined that confidential information, equipment, and personnel should not remain for safety considerations. This was done in connection with other City departments like the Seattle Department of Transportation, Seattle Information Technology, Finance and Administrative Services, and the Seattle Fire Department.

Over the last three days there have been peaceful demonstrations around the East Precinct. Officers in the East Precinct have continued to respond to calls. Chief Best and Command Staff have been on site at the East Precinct including yesterday, and some personnel are now staffing the precinct.

Local News

Orca Humpback Fight...
Colleen West, KIRO 7 News

Rare clash between orcas, humpback whales witnessed in Salish Sea

A large group of orcas and pair of humpback whales harassed each other during an hours-long encounter about 25 miles west of Port Angeles.
12 hours ago
weekend traffic...
Micki Gamez

Closures to cause heavy traffic through Seattle this weekend

Be prepared for long commutes in Seattle this weekend as construction closures are set to cause heavy traffic on I-90, I-5, SR-9 and more.
12 hours ago
autumn...
Ted Buehner

Dry summers delay changes in leaves, but brilliant autumn colors around the corner

This sunny dry weather is expected to continue through Columbus Day Weekend, providing more unseasonably warm weather for enjoying fall hues.
2 days ago
investigations...
Hanna Scott

No timeline for Office of Independent Investigations use of force cases to begin

“The new Office of Independent Investigation will increase transparency and trust in investigations of deadly uses of force by law enforcement."
2 days ago
mariners...
Nicole Jennings

The drought is over! Mariners fans are ready for postseason baseball

With playoffs closer than ever, Mariners fans await tonight's results with baited breath
2 days ago
bipoc...
Hanna Scott

Report discovers troubling gap between BIPOC, white homeowners in Washington state

More than 143,000 BIPOC households would need to become homeowners to close the gap between white and BIPOC households in Washington.
2 days ago

Sponsored Articles

Anacortes Christmas Tree...

Come one, come all! Food, Drink, and Coastal Christmas – Anacortes has it all!

Come celebrate Anacortes’ 11th annual Bier on the Pier! Bier on the Pier takes place on October 7th and 8th and features local ciders, food trucks and live music - not to mention the beautiful views of the Guemes Channel and backdrop of downtown Anacortes.
Swedish Cyberknife Treatment...

The revolutionary treatment of Swedish CyberKnife provides better quality of life for majority of patients

There are a wide variety of treatments options available for men with prostate cancer. One of the most technologically advanced treatment options in the Pacific Northwest is Stereotactic Body Radiation Therapy using the CyberKnife platform at Swedish Medical Center.
Work at Zum Services...

Seattle Public Schools announces three-year contract with Zum

Seattle Public Schools just announced a three-year contract with a brand-new company to the Pacific Northwest to assist with their student transportation: Zum.
Swedish Cyberknife 900x506...

June is Men’s Health Month: Here’s Why It’s Important To Speak About Your Health

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, men in the United States, on average, die five years earlier than women.
...

Anacortes – A Must Visit Summertime Destination

While Anacortes is certainly on the way to the San Juan Islands (SJI), it is not just a destination to get to the ferry… Anacortes is a destination in and of itself!
...

Ready for your 2022 Alaskan Adventure with Celebrity Cruises?

Celebrity Cruises SPONSORED — A round-trip Alaska cruise from Seattle is an amazing treat for you and a loved one. Not only are you able to see and explore some of the most incredible and visually appealing natural sights on the planet, but you’re also able to relax and re-energize while aboard a luxury cruise […]
Mayor Durkan clarifies role in clearing of East Precinct