A group of about 200 protesters in about 40 vehicles gathered near the home of Seattle’s top cop last weekend as a form of “bullying,” according to the Snohomish County Sheriff’s office.
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The office said Wednesday that protesters were targeting the home of Carmen Best, who has been criticized in the liberal city over her pro-police stance. The incursion on her home was not the first time these anti-police agitators attempted the new method of intimidation.
Earlier in the city’s protest, agitators materialized outside the home of Mayor Jenny Durkan over what they said was not enough repudiation of the police department from her office. The two leaders have recently spoken out against the fringe city council’s hope to reduce the police force by 100 officers this year. The Seattle Times reported that the cuts would include 70 layoffs and 30 unplanned resignations.
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KOMO News reported that protesters descended on Best’s home and seemed to intimidate nearby residents. Video emerged from the chaotic scene that included one woman’s voice saying, “You guys….you don’t need to do this. This is the wrong thing.”
Another woman said in the video, “I felt very threatened by their attire, by their backpacks, by the fact that they wouldn’t stop and talk with us and reason.”
One concerned resident noted that many of the masked “protesters” were wearing backpacks and when they were asked to display what they were carrying, they refused, raising suspicions that they could have been armed.
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Seattle has been the center of some of the country’s most intense protests since the death of George Floyd in police custody in May. The city lost control of six blocks to the CHOP zone that, by all accounts, was a lawless encampment with no clear goal that eventually led to two fatal shootings. Durkan was widely criticized when she downplayed the protest during early interviews.
Reports indicated that the relationship between Durkan and Best suffered due to their opposing views on how to handle the protest. Best took a more assertive stance. CHOP was eventually cleared out by city police.
There have been flareups in the city and there is still tension about how much of the police force to cut. But the local sheriff assured Best that she would be protected from the angry mob.
Adam Fortney, the sheriff, told the Lynnwood Times that his office assured Best that his office would “deploy whatever resources were necessary to protect her, her family, and her property.”