Seattle Officials Considered Giving Up Police Building to BLM Group

The Seattle Times reported past documents Sunday, pointing to the cities idea to transfer a police station to a BLM organization in June 2020.

QUICK FACTS:
  • During the racial justice protests in 2020, Seattle’s then-Mayor Jenny Durkan’s administration drafted legislation to transfer the Police Departments East Precinct building to a Black Lives Matter group, Seattle Times reported.
  • While rioters and protesters at the time called for the Police Department to be defunded, Durkan’s office was quietly contemplating transferring the property over to the activist group.
  • The director of Seattle’s Department of Finance and Administrative Services emailed three memos to Durkin, including a draft resolution that would transfer the property to Black Lives Matter Seattle-King County with a July 1 effective date.
SEATTLE POLICE DEPARTMENT ON THEIR LACK OF KNOWLEDGE SURROUNDING THE INCIDENT:

“We were not aware of any plans on the city’s part to permanently leave the precinct, or any plans to share the space with the community.” SPOKESPERSON Sgt. Randy Huserik

BACKGROUND:
  • Ultimately the city didn’t transfer the property, which police reoccupied on July 1, 2020 and Durkin, whose term ended last month, dropped the idea shortly after the memos were sent.
  • The work this administration did on potentially giving BLM the police building didn’t surface to the public until former Deputy Mayor Casey Sixkiller’s deposition and former Police Chief Carmen best wrote about the incident in a book last year.
  • Durkin representatives have since denied any such allegations of a transfer of the building to the group.
  • “There was no plan to transfer the East Precinct and from the time SPD made the decision to temporarily evacuate the precinct for safety reasons, it always planned to return,” a spokesperson for Durkan said.