Former Seattle Police Chief: Media Malfeasance Covering ‘CHOP’ Made Violent Activists Look Peaceful

Former Seattle Police Chief: Media Malfeasance Covering ‘CHOP’ Made Violent Activists Look Peaceful

Former Seattle police chief Carmen Best said on a podcast this week that the Capitol Hill Occupied Protest (CHOP) zone during Seattle’s Black Lives Matter uprising was more violent than the media depicted.

Best told Jerry Ratcliffe on his podcast “Reducing Crime” that “destructive behavior” in CHOP was not adequately documented by the media, which resulted in people thinking it was “peaceful.” She continued:

And the other thing that I found very curious during that time frame was that the destructive behavior, for whatever reason, I’m not sure if there’s a political reason or otherwise, did not get the level of publicity or media attention as … I would read stories about the peaceful protests. I go, ‘Well, part of it was peaceful.’ But I was standing 20 feet away from a hail of rocks. I was looking right at them hail down, feet from me.

CHOP, which later became known as the Capitol Hill Autonomous Zone (CHAZ), was six blocks long. BLM protestors established the area after the police retreated from its East Precinct. Two people were killed in the area and there were several shootings. Businesses and residents sued the city over the summer for not taking action on the lawless protest ground.

The former chief said there was a great deal of “gaslighting” by the media. National outlets often attempted to conceal the madness inside the autonomous zone. The New York Times defined it as a “homeland for racial justice” in an article with the headline “Free Food, Free Speech, and Free Police.” CNN said conservative media “grossly exaggerated” the violence in Seattle.

In a Seattle Times article titled “Dubbed a ‘lawless state’ by some, the CHAZ or CHOP, Seattle’s newest neighborhood, tries to create its own narrative,” reporter Paul Roberts wrote, “But on this particular afternoon, many of the members of that ‘lawless state’ seemed less focused on defying the establishment than in recreating elements of that establishment in ways that advance the goals of the new community.”

“Indeed, for some conservative commentators and parts of the political establishment, the occupation of this small stretch of Seattle has become the latest symbol of failed progressive politics and the unchecked rise of anarchy and protests,” Roberts said.

In August, Best abruptly resigned after Seattle’s city council decided to cut funding to the police department. Interim Police Chief Adrian Diaz announced last week that nearly 20 percent of Seattle’s police force has left in the past year and a half. The homicide rate increased in the city to a 26-year-high and the number of deployable officers fell to 1,200 — the lowest since 1990.

Jason Rantz, a Seattle-based talk show host on KTTH Radio, told The Federalist that the city’s newspaper and television station “did little more than print propaganda press releases for activists.”

“It was embarrassing. It meant the public was told abject lies about what was happening inside CHOP. A few of us were honest about it and got labeled as liars and propagandists,” he said. “Then two kids were murdered inside CHOP, making it impossible for the media to ignore it. But they still have learned few lessons and so many outlets continue to push fringe activist propaganda because they either believe in it or are too scared to push against it.”


Death Toll Rises To An Estimated 30 Victims Since ‘Mostly Peaceful Protests’ Began

An estimated 30 people have died after supposedly “peaceful” protests erupted across the nation after George Floyd’s death on May 25. What started as civil protests and marches to address police brutality, condemn racism, and support Black Lives Matter, quickly turned into violence unmatched since the Civil Rights Movement.

Despite claims by politicians and corporate media that these protests were “mostly peaceful” and safe to do amidst a pandemic because racism is also a public health crisis, US cities were quickly plagued with looting, violence, arson, vandalism, and damage to public property.

It was this mayhem that proved fatal for some. Protestors and bystanders, ranging in age from 14 to 77, lost their lives in the chaos that media outlets labeled as a “peaceful demonstration intensified.” 

Victims of the violence included a police captain, a former football player, a federal officer, a photographer, business owners, teens, and others. A majority of their deaths were caused by shootings, but a select few were caused by being hit or dragged by cars. One news report documented that a body was found burned to death in the remains of a Minneapolis pawn shop set on fire by rioters. 

Chris Beaty, 38, who played football for Indiana University, was shot and killed on the street during an Indianapolis protest on May 30. Beaty’s family says they were told he was helping two women being mugged when he was shot.

Only some of those responsible for these deaths have been found and charged.

“Many of the people killed were African Americans, compounding the tragedy for black families,” the Associated Press reported.   

While the media circus ran circles around the issue of these riots and deaths, others spoke out, calling for the cessation of violence to shield people from further injury and death. 

In June, Seattle Police Chief Carmen Best spoke out against the Capitol Hill Autonomous Zone (CHAZ) after a series of fatal shootings, violence, and tensions between CHAZ members and police broke out in the area. 

“Enough is enough,” she said, calling for CHAZ’s dispersal. “Two African American men are dead at a place where they claim to be working for Black Lives Matter.”

“We have had multiple other instances of assaults, rape, robbery, shootings, and this is something that is going to need to change,” she added.

Attorney General William Barr called out the violence stating that it was causing “senseless havoc and destruction on innocent victims.” 

“In the wake of George Floyd’s death, violent rioters and anarchists have hijacked legitimate protests to wreak senseless havoc and destruction on innocent victims,” Barr wrote.

“To state what should be obvious, peaceful protesters do not throw explosives into federal courthouses, tear down plywood with crowbars, or launch fecal matter at federal officers. Such acts are in fact federal crimes under statutes enacted by this Congress,” he added.

Barr also pledged to take legal action against those causing this destruction. 

“We’ve had scores of indictments so far for such things as arson, destruction of federal property,” Barr said. “We have right now about 500 investigations underway, so it’s picking up pace. We are committed to holding accountable the people who engaged in this.”

President Trump tweeted that there must be law and order where violence is rampant. He also honored one of the victims of the riots, David Dorn, “a Great Police Captain from St. Louis” who died after being shot by looters at his friend’s pawn shop in St. Louis.

In addition to the deaths and injuries caused by the riots, cities around the United States are suffering from some of their most fatal and violent weeks in years. According to a report released by the Anderson Economic Group, looting costs in America’s 20 largest metropolitan areas exceeded $400 million in just the first weekend of rioting.

Barr: Liberals Will ‘Escape the Consequences’ of Demonizing Police, But Inner City Residents Won’t, ‘That’s Not Caring About Black Lives’

On Thursday’s broadcast of the Fox News Channel’s “Hannity,” Attorney General William Barr praised outgoing Seattle Police Chief Carmen Best and stated that “unless we support the police, we’re not going to have a police force. These communities are not going to have the safety.” He further stated that “a lot of the liberals will buy themselves out of that. They’ll go to resort towns and so forth, and they’ll escape the consequences of it. But the people in the inner cities won’t. … That’s not caring about black lives.”

Barr said, [relevant remarks begin around 6:00] “Well, lives are being lost in violent crime and the demonization of the police. Carmen Best is an example of the highly competent and professional and dedicated police professionals we have in this country. We’re blessed with that throughout the country. They’re excellent, and she is a great example of it, and we should be supporting them. And being a police officer is one of the — it is the hardest job in the United States. We’re asking people to go into very dangerous situations, to have jobs that are terribly wearing on them as individuals and on their families, to go into potentially deadly situations not knowing what will happen, and we have to continue to attract the best people into these jobs, and unless we support the police, we’re not going to have a police force. These communities are not going to have the safety. Now, a lot of the liberals will buy themselves out of that. They’ll go to resort towns and so forth, and they’ll escape the consequences of it. But the people in the inner cities won’t. Their lives will be destroyed. Their opportunity will be — they won’t have the opportunity they otherwise would have. Their schools will be overrun by gangs. That’s not caring about black lives.”

Follow Ian Hanchett on Twitter @IanHanchett

Large Rally for Police In Seattle: ‘S-P-D!’

Hundreds of protesters supporting the Seattle Police Department gathered at midday Sunday in front of Seattle’s City Hall to show their support for law enforcement on the day before the City Council will vote whether to “defund the police.”

Local ABC affiliate KOMO news reported:

A pro-police “Back the Blue” rally is being held outside of City Hall. The Seattle Police Officers Guild helped organize the protest.

The group is calling on city council to not defund SPD.

Hundreds of people are gathered on the steps on City Hall holding signs that say “Protect Our Police” and “True to the Blue”.

On Monday, the council is expected to review a final set of amendments before taking a final vote on what some members say is the first step toward defunding Seattle police.

The council has already approved a series of amendments that eliminated the department’s mounted police, SWAT team and Navigation Team.

Turnout for the pro-police demonstration was large, with local news reporting a “large” rally:

A far smaller group of counter-demonstrators, many wearing the black garb of left-wing Antifa activists, also appeared:

A small group of right-wing Proud Boys made an appearance:

Seattle has been at the epicenter of left-wing efforts to “defund the police,” and was the site of the “Capitol Hill Occupied Protest,” or CHOP, which took over several city blocks for several weeks in June. The occupation began after local political leaders ordered the Seattle Police Department to abandon the East Precinct, over the objections of Chief Carmen Best.

It ended only after left-wing activists led a march to Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan’s private residence, after which she ordered it dismantled.

Durkan and Gov. Jay Inslee had resisted President Donald Trump’s offer of federal law assistance in clearing the CHOP, which Durkan had described as a “Summer of Love” and a “block party.”

On Friday, the New York Times belatedly acknowledged that the CHOP had been a nightmare for local residents and small business, with bands of armed Antifa and Black Lives Matter activists commanding the streets.

There were several shootings in the CHOP, including the murder of Horace Lorenzo Anderson Jr. Police were reportedly obstructed by CHOP activists as they attempted to evacuate the wounded man.

In the aftermath of the removal of CHOP in early July, residents have faced continued violent protest from left-wing activists. Some riots have included the use of explosives.

Nevertheless, the Democrat-dominated City Council — with eight Democrats and one Socialistapproved a proposal last month to cut funding to the Seattle Police Department by 50%, and to “imagine life beyond policing.”

The council has acknowledged that the budget cannot be cut by 50% in 2020, but it proposing to cut 100 police officers from the force this year.

The final 2020 budget will be up for approval Monday.

Joel B. Pollak is Senior Editor-at-Large at Breitbart News and the host of Breitbart News Sunday on Sirius XM Patriot on Sunday evenings from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. ET (4 p.m. to 7 p.m. PT). His new book, RED NOVEMBER, tells the story of the 2020 Democratic presidential primary from a conservative perspective. He is a winner of the 2018 Robert Novak Journalism Alumni Fellowship. Follow him on Twitter at @joelpollak.

Photo: file

Black Lives Matter Protesters Swarm Seattle Police Chief’s Home

A large group of “aggressive” protesters swarmed Seattle Police Chief Carmen Best’s Snohomish County home over the weekend, the police chief confirmed in an August 2 letter addressed to members of the Seattle City Council, detailing the incident.

Dozens of vehicles lined the road as roughly 200 protesters, “mostly white men and women in their twenties,” gathered in the neighborhood to protest, according to the Lynwood Times. The protesters wore masks and held signs reading, “Black Lives Matter.”

The outlet reported that protesters “shouted profanity and insults at neighbors, took license plate information on vehicles, took pictures of homes, and asked little kids who lived in the neighborhood what schools they attended.”

Some demonstrators attempted to head to Best’s residence (she was not at home at the time) but were stopped by neighbors, who “established a perimeter to protect her [Best’s] home from possible mischief.”

“I feel incredibly unsafe,” one neighbor, who predicted that it will “happen again,” told the paper.

“Their objective was not completed; they never made it to her house, we stopped them … so we think they will be back,” the neighbor added.

Another resident detailed the nature of the protesters to the outlet, describing them as “very organized.”

“They had radios, talking to each other. They had numbers they used to decal all their cars for who knows what. So, they were identifying all their vehicles individually by number. They came with a mission. … They were out here intimidating us,” the individual said, according to the Lynwood Times.

“My neighbors were concerned by such a large group, but they were successful in ensuring the crowd was not able to trespass or engage in other illegal behavior in the area, despite repeated attempts to do so,” Best wrote in an August 2 letter to the Seattle City Council.

Best told the council that the local police sheriff is “monitoring the situation,” which Snohomish County Sheriff Adam Fortney affirmed in a statement to the Lynwood Times. 

“I assured her [Best] that the Snohomish County Sheriff’s Office would deploy whatever resources were necessary to protect her, her family, and her property,” Fortney said.

Best, in the letter, urged the council to “stand up for what is right” and condemn the actions of such demonstrators.

She wrote:

These direct actions against elected officials, and especially civil servants like myself, are out of line with and go against every democratic principle that guides our nation. Before this devolves into the new way of doing business by mob rule here in Seattle, and across the nation, elected officials like you must forcefully call for the end of these tactics.

The events of this summer were initiated in a moment of grief and outrage over the murder of George Floyd by Minneapolis police officers and so many other Black and Brown people suffering at the hands of injustice. All of us must ensure that this righteous cause is not lost in the confusion of so many protestors now engaging in violence and intimidation, which many are not speaking against.

Best has been upfront in acknowledging the reality of violent protesters at many of these nationwide Black Lives Matter protests. Last week, she announced that police seized a van — which was present at the city’s July 25 protest — filled with weapons, including explosives.

As Breitbart News detailed:

Best said the vehicle was “impounded” and a judge granted detectives a search warrant. Investigators discovered “one pyrotechnic explosives [sic], smoke bombs bundled together — and lit and unlit but able to cause large amounts of smoke that are caustic to humans — bear spray — using it on anything but bears is a federal offense — pepper spray, stun guns, [and] improvised spike strips,” she said.

Best reminded reporters that 59 officers were injured as a result of the violent riots, and added that the evidence demonstrates that “not everyone that comes to these protests is peaceful.”

At the time, Best acknowledged that some protests and protesters have remained peaceful but emphasized that peaceful protesters “do not show up with a van full of bear spray, stun guns, spike strips, and explosives.”

The weekend protest in Best’s neighborhood, and the police chief’s subsequent letter, follow the Seattle City Council’s move to slash police department funding and create a “civilian led department of community safety & violence prevention.”

Best said the initial proposal — to slash police department funding by 50 percent — would “decimate public safety for the city of Seattle.”

“And the real tragedy of doing that is that we will lose 1,100 employees. That’s 50 percent of our total workforce,” she said during a July appearance on KTTH’s Jason Rantz Show.

“Because most of our budget is made up of our personnel costs, and it would be a tragedy,” she added. “I think that it’s the height of recklessness for them to decimate public safety for the city of Seattle without being thoughtful and encouraging public engagement on this issue.”


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