Earlier Monday, the Seattle City Council approved amendments to the current city budget, reducing the police departments $409 million budget by $3.5 million, according toReuters.
The cuts were made to top officers’ salaries and eliminated the Navigation Team and SWAT Unit, according to KOMO.
“Why on Earth – for the people who’ve worked so very hard – would we ever consider not having the best of the best and compensating them fairly?” Bestsaid at a press conferenceabout the cuts last week.
“I find that absolutely shocking and quite frankly – I think it’s punitive and not well thought out. And that’s exactly how I feel about it.”
These cuts amounted to less than 1% of the police budget, which is far less than the 50% Black Lives Matter protesters have been calling for. However, City Council members have suggested that bigger cuts are on the way for 2021.
The latest cuts could result in about 100 officers being eliminated through layoffs or attrition, according toKIRO 7.
Best’s resignation comes after months of turmoil in Seattle, which became a focal point of Black Lives Matter protests after the police killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis at the end of May.
For weeks in June, protesters took control of the area around the Seattle Police Department’s East Precinct building and designated it a police-free zone, which they named theCapitol Hill Organized Protest, or CHOP.
In late July, President Donald Trump sent federal agents to the city to quell the unrest,but they were removedwithin days.
While Best did not explicitly explain her reasons for leaving the department after 28 years, she is expected to speak about it more at an 11 a.m. local time press conference with Mayor Jenny Durkan of Seattle on Tuesday.
Chris Daniels, chief political reporter atKING 5,attributed Best’s resignation to “council actions, including a proposed massive pay cut, plus the council’s refusal to denounce marches to her house.”