Cuts prompt Seat­tle’s top cop to re­tire

Chicago Sun-Times - - NATION/WORLD -

SEAT­TLE — Ef­forts to cut spend­ing on po­lice have claimed an un­likely tar­get: Seat­tle’s first Black po­lice chief, who en­joyed deep sup­port in its mi­nor­ity com­mu­ni­ties, is step­ping down in protest.

Car­men Best an­nounced her re­tire­ment Mon­day night, just hours af­ter the City Coun­cil voted to cut her an­nual $285,000 salary by $10,000, as well as the salaries of her com­mand staff, and to trim as many as 100 of­fi­cers from a force of 1,400 through lay­offs and at­tri­tion.

She said Tues­day that she was OK with her pay cut, but not with hav­ing to lay off young of­fi­cers, many of them mi­nori­ties hired in part to im­prove the depart­ment’s di­ver­sity. “That, for me — I’m done. Can’t do it,” she said at a news con­fer­ence.

KAREN DUCEY/GETTY IMAGES

Seat­tle Po­lice Chief Car­men Best (left) bumps el­bows with the Rev. Har­ri­ett Walden from Moth­ers for Po­lice Ac­count­abil­ity af­ter Best dis­cussed her res­ig­na­tion at Seat­tle City Hall on Tues­day.

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