Faith Leaders Call Out City Council’s Treatment Of Chief Best
August 21, 2020
In a press conference, interfaith leaders from Seattle’s communities of color demanded that the City Council work to repair the damage it inflicted through its mistreatment of SPD Chief Carmen Best, the first African American woman to serve in that role.
According to a report in the Post Millennial, Rev. Leslie Blackwell urged Chief Best to reconsider leaving her post while calling out the “malicious targeting” she experienced at the hands of members of the City Council, which targeted Chief Best’s personal salary in addition to the overall cuts in the SPD budget.
“I believe her [Best’s] return would be a moment of redemption for our city. If it remains as it is, I think we have a difficult path moving forward. I think we’ll have a troubled time trying to find real talent to come and replace her,” said Blackwell. “Who would want to come to a city where the Chief can be so maliciously targeted via the city budget. Our city right now in the public mind is an occupational hazard.”
According to a recent Gallup Poll, more than 80 percent of Black Americans nationwide want a police presence in their area equal to current levels or more.
Kudos to Rev. Blackwell, her colleagues in the interfaith community and the police reform advocates who stood beside them for serving as a voice of reason that Seattle needs to hear right now.