“There is no cop-free zone in the city of Seattle:” Chief Best speaks about Capitol Hill protest zone

SEATTLE — Seattle Police Chief Carmen Best spoke candidly Monday about the occupied protest zone in zone in Capitol Hill, saying there is no area of the city that police cannot respond too.

“SPD will respond to things that threaten life and safety,” Best said.

Best held the press conference after some reports that emergency responders were not able to respond to calls from inside the protest zone, dubbed CHOP or CHAZ.

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Best said that officers did respond to the calls last night and observed from a distance, but did not see anything that was a threat to life and safety.

“We are trying to avoid anything that will escalate, we are working hard to get a peaceful resolution,” she said.

The police chief said that officers will try and coordinate with the victim or caller to meet outside CHOP boundaries whenever possible to avoid conflicts with protesters.

Best did say that response times in the East Precinct broadly have been affected, and it is taking three times longer for emergency responders to arrive.

As she was leaving, Best emphasized one last time that officers are responding, and this is “a small fragment of the city that has caused a lot of attention.”