‘Racism is racism’: Black Lives Matter Seattle-King County issues statement on Chief Best retirement

SEATTLE — Black Lives Matter Seattle-King County issued a statement ahead of Seattle Police Chief Carmen Best’s retirement announcement on Tuesday.

Best will retire Sept. 2 after spending her entire 28-year career with the Seattle Police Department. The move comes less than a day after the Seattle City Council voted to cut her pay, her budget and restructure the department.

>> ‘When it’s time, it’s time’: Chief Carmen Best to announce retirement

The Tacoma native is the first African-American woman to ever serve as Seattle’s police chief. She rose through the ranks from a patrol officer in the East Precinct to sergeant, lieutenant, captain, and deputy chief.

Here’s the full statement from Black Lives Matter Seattle-King County:

"Today's news of the retirement of Chief Carmen Best is a loss.

“It does nothing to further our fight for authentic police accountability and the safety of Black lives, that the first Black woman to hold the position of Chief of Police of the Seattle Police Department has been forced out of her job by the Seattle City Council.

“Racism is racism.

“We demand the Seattle City Council stop prioritizing performative action that solely suggests the appearance of change. We demand transparency and accountability for the series of actions and inactions that led to Chief Best’s resignation. And we demand a successor that serves Black Lives.”