The Seattle Police Department, overwhelmed by the coronavirus pandemic, encouraged citizens to report “hate” and “racist name-calling” while reportedly lacking resources to tackle burglaries.
In a tweet, Seattle Chief of Police, Carmen Best, wrote: “Washington State is no place for hate. In a show of solidarity, @LoriMatsukawa joined me to remind everyone that hate has no place in our community. Report hate, including racist name calling, to 911. We are here to help, and will respond to investigate.”
During a briefing, Best said: “We will document and investigate every reported hate crime.
“Even racist name-calling should be reported to police. If you aren’t sure if a hate crime occurred, call 911. We are here to help.”
Washington State is no place for hate. In a show of solidarity, @LoriMatsukawa joined me to remind everyone that hate has no place in our community. Report hate, including racist name calling, to 911. We are here to help, and will respond to investigate. #WeGotThisSeattle pic.twitter.com/cFGkYopbVW
— Chief Carmen Best (@carmenbest) March 31, 2020
According to Reason Magazine, during the briefing former local news anchor, Lori Matsukawa, said: “Hate crimes have no place in our community.
“We are all trying to deal with the COVID-19 public health crisis together. If you are a victim of a hate crime or hate-based harassment, please call 911.”
Although no official announcement was made over the lack in resources, My North West reported:
Also Wednesday morning, on my radio show, I played three calls to police. In Seattle, a police officer responded to a request from dispatch to intervene in a burglary in progress–someone actively stealing from a citizen!
The officer was forced to reply that they could not respond “we have no resources.”
In Burien, someone from Medic 1 reported an assault in progress. Someone getting beaten up. The dispatcher wasn’t certain if, or when, the police would get there.
Lastly, over the weekend, Seattle DOT wanted to close Seattle’s expensive, new tunnel. But, instead of doing it on their own, they demanded the Seattle Police Department handle it.
Best’s announcement on Twitter was not well-received, with her tweet garnering several unimpressed comments.
“Doesn’t the chief of police swear an oath to defend the Constitution? Perhaps you should go back and read the 1st Amendment,” one tweeter commented.
“Gee. I guessed I missed the announcement that the First Amendment had been repealed…” tweeted another.
A third dryly inquired: “Are caucasians protected too? Or do they get laughed at?”
“Whoa…911 is taking these calls?! All our lives we’re told to only use 911 for life threatening emergencies and now we’re going to bog them down for name calling? Hate in all forms is wrong but 911 is not the solution,” remarked a fourth.