Seattle officials planned to cede police station to BLM group, report says

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Seattle officials planned to cede police station to BLM group, report says

[ad_1] In the summer of 2020, as Seattle was beset by police protests, city officials seriously considered transferring the police department’s East

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In the summer of 2020, as Seattle was beset by police protests, city officials seriously considered transferring the police department’s East Precinct building to the local chapter of Black Lives Matter, according to a Sunday report.

Documents obtained by The Seattle Times showed that Calvin Goings, director of the Department of Finance and Administration Services (FAS), sent three memos and a draft resolution to Mayor Jenny Durkan about abandoning the precinct. 

The word "people" is spray-painted over the word "police" on the closed Seattle Police Department's East Precinct now surrounded by the area known as the Capitol Hill Autonomous Zone (CHAZ), in Seattle, Washington, on June 11, 2020.

The word “people” is spray-painted over the word “police” on the closed Seattle Police Department’s East Precinct now surrounded by the area known as the Capitol Hill Autonomous Zone (CHAZ), in Seattle, Washington, on June 11, 2020.
(Photo by JASON REDMOND/AFP via Getty Images)

In June 2020, the precinct was the site of a standoff between officers and far-left protesters who shrieked for defunding the police. The protests were one of many sweeping the country that summer after the police killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis. 

Police eventually abandoned the precinct on June 8, 2020, paving the way for self-described anarchists to set up what would become a familiar name to households across the country: Capitol Hill Organized Protest, or CHOP. 

Seattle's "CHOP" or "CHAZ" zone in July 2020.

Seattle’s “CHOP” or “CHAZ” zone in July 2020.
(AP)

After a spate of shootings – including two which left a 19-year-old and a 16-year-old dead in separate incidents – Seattle police reoccupied the East Precinct building on July 1, 2020, and the proposed transfer to BLM never took place. 

Durkan’s spokesperson Chelsea Kellog told The Seattle Times via email that the idea was dropped after “the very preliminary work by the FAS and the realities of policing confirmed it was neither feasible nor in the best interest of public safety.” 

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She added that Black Lives Matter Seattle-King County (BLMSKC) ultimately supported the decision for police to return to the East Precinct building. BLMSKC did not return Fox News’ email seeking comment on the matter. 

A protester holds a sign that reads "Abolish Police" during a "Silent March" against racial inequality and police brutality that was organized by Black Lives Matter Seattle-King County, Friday, June 12, 2020, in Seattle. 

A protester holds a sign that reads “Abolish Police” during a “Silent March” against racial inequality and police brutality that was organized by Black Lives Matter Seattle-King County, Friday, June 12, 2020, in Seattle. 
(AP Photo/Ted S. Warren)

SPD spokesman Sgt. Randy Huserik told Fox News that the department was never aware of any city plan to abandon the East Precinct and was never involved in any discussions regarding the issue. 

The Times reported that Durkan’s administration has downplayed the idea that they were behind the idea of a transfer.

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“Interesting that you assume and state that the Mayor asked for a draft resolution on this property when that is not how the process works,” Kellog told the outlet. “FAS oversees both city owned property and many real estate deals.”

The portion of downtown Seattle that the protesters occupied.

The portion of downtown Seattle that the protesters occupied.

But FAS spokesperson Melissa Mixon told Fox News that the mayor’s office “directed (FAS) in its capacity as the city’s real estate and facility management agency, to outline the process to transfer the East Precinct to BLM-Seattle-King County.” 

Mixon said FAS had no knowledge of what Mayor Durkan’s office intended to do with the East Precinct in June 2020. 

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“Because of our role overseeing real estate and managing facilities, FAS can be called on by the Mayor’s Office to provide analysis and determine the feasibility of options the Mayor’s Office is exploring, which is what we did in this case,” Mixon said. 

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