Mary Margaret Olohan, DCNF
Seattle police officers boarded up their East Precinct building as riots continue throughout the Pacific Northwest over the death of George Floyd.
Footage of the Seattle Police Department’s East Precinct showed that the building is boarded up and surrounded by masked protesters. No police officers are present in the video. The precinct has been the center of demonstrations in Seattle, and police officers have abandoned the building, The New York Times reported.
Seattle Police Chief Carmen Best said Monday, however, that the department was not “going to evacuate or abandon the East Precinct. We will be hardening the East Precinct facility by boarding up the exterior windows, and applying fire retardant to the building exterior and installing fencing.”
— Brandi Kruse (@BrandiKruse) June 9, 2020
The move came after the Minneapolis Police Department abandoned the 3rd Police Precinct to rioters May 28. Rioters proceeded to set the precinct on fire.
“Shortly after 10:00 pm tonight, in the interest of the safety of our personnel, the Minneapolis Police Department evacuated the 3rd Precinct of its staff,” the Minneapolis police confirmed in a May 28 statement. “Protesters forcibly entered the building and have ignited several fires. No further information is available.”
Riots and protests continue throughout Oregon and Washington, prompting changes within both police departments and political leadership. At least two city council members in Seattle have asked Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan to resign, TheNYT reported.
Protesters in Portland, Oregon, shut down Interstate 84 on Monday and other Seattle protesters moved barricades to make a demonstration space in the Seattle Capitol Hill neighborhood, according to TheNYT.
Persistent protests in the Northwest are forcing concessions.
Today, the Portland police chief stepped down and Seattle police abandoned their East Precinct.
Tonight, Portland protesters shut down I-84 and Seattle ones have created their own barricades.https://t.co/bubBGX6hzx
— Mike Baker (@ByMikeBaker) June 9, 2020
Portland Police Chief Jami Resch said Monday that she will be stepping down from her position and has asked Lt. Chuck Lovell, who is black, to replace her.
“I have asked Chuck Lovell to step into the role as chief of the Police Bureau,” she said at a news conference, according to Oregon Live. “He’s the exact right person at the exact right moment.”
She added: “I’ve asked our community time and time again, what do we need to do. The Portland Police Bureau has made change … but in the words of Mr. Hopson, those are changes but they are not the change. What the Portland Police Bureau has not done is stand up and say, ‘We will be the change.’”
The Seattle Police Department did not immediately respond to the Daily Caller News Foundation’s request for comment when pressed for details on closing the building.