The chief of the Seattle Police Department sent a terrifying letter to local businesses and residents reminding them that officers will no longer be able to adequately protect them because of a new ordinance that bans them from using nonlethal weapons when attempting to disperse large gatherings.
“Please know that the Seattle Police Department is committed to addressing life safety incidents and calls for service, and responding to ongoing demonstrations and unrest in the city,” Chief Carmen Best wrote in the letter. “Please also know that the City Council Ordinance 119805 Crowd Control Tool goes into effect this weekend on Sunday, July 26, 2020. This ordinance bans Seattle Police officers the use of less-lethal tools, including pepper spray that is commonly used to disperse crowds that have turned violent. Simply put, the legislation gives officers no ability to safely intercede to preserve property in the midst of a large, violent crowd.”