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Seattle Police Department

Carmen Best smiles during a press conference on Tuesday, July 17, 2018, at City Hall in Seattle.
KUOW Photo/Megan Farmer

Seattle has a new police chief. Carmen Best has served in the Seattle Police Department for over 25 years. She will be the first African American woman to lead the department. We talk to Lisa Daugaard, Director of the Public Defender Association and Seattle City Council member Lorena Gonzalez about the decision and what's next for the Seattle Police Department. 

Carmen Best, center, smiles while standing with her husband, left, and Seattle mayor Jenny Durkan, right, during a press conference on Tuesday, July 17, 2018, at City Hall in Seattle.
KUOW Photo/Megan Farmer

After public uproar following the initial selection for the city's new head of police, Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan announced Tuesday morning that Interim Police Chief Carmen Best would be taking over the role permanently.

Seattle police officers observe marchers moving down 4th Avenue during the Black Lives Matter rally in Seattle, Saturday April 15, 2017.
KUOW Photo/Daniel Berman

Seattle is down to the final three contenders for Seattle Police chief. Mayor Jenny Durkan has said she will announce the appointee this month.

FILE: Then-Deputy Chief Carmen Best smiles during a press conference on Monday, December 4, 2017, at Seattle City Hall. Best will be interim Seattle Police Chief.
KUOW Photo/Megan Farmer

Bill Radke speaks with Crosscut's City Reporter David Kroman about the surprise reversal that placed Carmen Best back in as a finalist for Seattle's Chief of Police. She was initially not included among the finalist but that changed when one of the finalist, Cameron McLay, withdrew his application. McLay has agreed to take a different job with the Seattle Police Department assisting on reform efforts.

FILE: Then-Deputy Chief Carmen Best smiles during a press conference on Monday, December 4, 2017, at Seattle City Hall. Best will be interim Seattle Police Chief.
KUOW Photo/Megan Farmer

Carmen Best, Seattle’s interim police chief, will be considered for the top job, after all.

The sun sets behind downtown Seattle on Tuesday, June 20, 2018
KUOW Photo/Megan Farmer

Is crime in Seattle on the rise? Neighborhood blogs and local TV news shows include alarming reports that might make you think it is.

But Gene Balk—the Seattle Times' FYI Guy—took a close look at the issue. He analyzed crime data across Seattle neighborhoods and found some good news.


Deputy Chief Carmen Best, left, and Seattle Police Chief Kathleen O'Toole listen as Mayor Jenny Durkan speaks during a press conference on Monday, December 4, 2017, at Seattle City Hall.
KUOW Photo/Megan Farmer

Seattle’s Community Police Commission is asking the City Council to delay confirmation hearings for a new police chief until it can examine the selection process more closely.


Shakiah Danielson, center, dances with friends and family of Charleena Lyles during the one year remembrance, reflection and healing event on the anniversary of her death on Monday, June 18, 2018, at Magnuson Park in Seattle.
KUOW Photo/Megan Farmer

On a balmy Monday evening, children played games and danced in an open field at Sandpoint Magnuson Park. This would have resembled any other summer night were it not for all the people in t-shirts bearing one person's name: Charleena Lyles.

Carmen Best, interim police chief of Seattle
KUOW Photo/Megan Farmer

Community members and activists, some belonging to Mayor Jenny Durkan's own police chief selection committee, are calling for an overhaul of the city's process in choosing a new police chief. 


Interim Chief Carmen Best (pictured third from the right) was not included among the finalists.
Megan Farmer/KUOW

Half a year after former Seattle Police Chief Kathleen O’Toole stepped down, today Mayor Jenny Durkan's 25-person police chief search committee announced three all-male contenders to replace her. 

Interim Chief Carmen Best, the first black woman to hold the position and one of those vying for the spot, was not included.

Seattle police officers observe marchers moving down 4th Avenue during the Black Lives Matter rally in Seattle, Saturday April 15, 2017.
KUOW Photo/Daniel Berman

Seattle is about to appoint its first-ever inspector general of police. The city’s chosen candidate, Lisa Judge, said the Seattle Police Department shows “a hunger for progressive change” that is a rarity in the policing world. 

A memorial for Charleena Lyles is shown outside of Solid Ground Brettler Family Place on Monday, June 19, 2017.
KUOW Photo/Megan Farmer

A Seattle nonprofit is no longer part of a lawsuit filed by the family of Charleena Lyles. A King County judge dismissed Solid Ground from the wrongful death suit Friday.

Superior Court Judge Julie Spector ruled that Solid Ground was not legally responsible for the police shooting.

Katy Ellis is a mother and dedicated her poem to Charleena Lyles who was pregnant when she was killed.
KUOW PHOTO/CASEY MARTIN

The news can be troubling and sometimes disturbing. 

For poets it can be a source of inspiration. To help process the stories in our news feeds, we invite poets to write an original piece inspired by a KUOW story for #NewsPoet.


Brettler Family Place, part of the complex at Sand Point Housing.
Solid Ground

“Boom, boom, boom, boom, boom, boom, boom.” Gunshots, no doubt, J.C. thought. 

Amy Wales, daughter of Thomas Wales speaks at a news conference on February 21, 2018 in Seattle
KUOW Photo/Amy Radil

Kim Malcolm talks with David Payne and Jody Gottlieb about the unsolved murder of Federal Prosecutor Thomas Wales. In 2001, Wales was shot to death in his Queen Anne home. Payne and Gottlieb are former CNN journalists and creators of the podcast Somebody Somewhere.

Marchers on Thur. Feb 25 protested the killing of Che Taylor by the Seattle Police, shot on Feb. 22.
KUOW Photo/Liz Jones

The family of Che Taylor has filed a federal civil rights lawsuit against the city of Seattle and the police officers who shot him.

Carmen Best, interim police chief of Seattle
KUOW Photo/Megan Farmer

In the early 1990s, Carmen Best was working as an accountant for a local insurance company when she saw a recruitment ad for the Seattle Police Department.

“I just wanted to do something different, try something out," she told Bill Radke. "Had no preconceived ideas about staying for a long time, or not staying, just thought I would give it a shot and see what happens.” 

Brettler Family Place, part of the complex at Sand Point Housing.
Solid Ground

A citizens group wants the city of Seattle to investigate management of the low-income housing complex where Charleena Lyles was shot.

Deputy Chief Carmen Best, left, and Seattle Police Chief Kathleen O'Toole listen as Mayor Jenny Durkan speaks during a press conference on Monday, December 4, 2017, at Seattle City Hall.
KUOW Photo/Megan Farmer

Bill Radke talks to The Seattle Times criminal justice reporter Steve Miletich about U.S. District Judge James Robart's ruling that found the Seattle Police Department was in full and effective compliance with the court ordered reforms. 

Seatte police
KUOW / Ashley Ahearn

The Seattle Police Department has reached a major milestone in their reform effort. On Wednesday, U.S. District Judge James Robart found the department in full and effective compliance with court-ordered reforms imposed more than five years ago.

The city of Seattle entered into a Consent Decree with the federal Justice Department in 2012 after findings that SPD had engaged in a pattern of using excessive force and possible biased policing.


The city of Seattle has settled a civil rights lawsuit from an activist of Latino descent who says he was unjustly arrested by several Seattle police officers during a rally downtown.

A photo of Charleena Lyles stands in memorial.
KUOW Photo/Megan Farmer

An attorney for the family of Charleena Lyles says a police review board’s finding that Seattle officers acted within department policy when they shot her last June is inadequate.

The board’s decision was revealed last month, but a newly released report lays out the thinking behind it.

Seattle Police Chief Kathleen O'Toole, left, and Deputy Chief Carmen Best listen as mayor Jenny Durkan speaks during a press conference on Monday, December 4, 2017, at Seattle City Hall.
KUOW Photo/Megan Farmer

Bill Radke talks to state Representative Morgan Irwin and Michele Storms, Deputy Director of the ACLU of Washington about what they hope to see in the next Seattle police chief. 

Seattle Police Chief stepping down

Dec 4, 2017
Deputy Chief Carmen Best, left, and Seattle Police Chief Kathleen O'Toole listen as Mayor Jenny Durkan speaks during a press conference on Monday, December 4, 2017, at Seattle City Hall.
KUOW Photo/Megan Farmer

Seattle Police Chief Kathleen O'Toole will step down at the end of the year. She’ll hand the police department’s top job to Deputy Chief Carmen Best, who will serve as interim Chief until a nationwide search is complete. 

From left, Kirubel Daniel, 8, Detective Denise "Cookie" Bouldin and Deeqo Abdullahi, 11, play a game of chess on Tuesday, November 28, 2017, at the Rainier Beach Library in Seattle.
KUOW photo/Megan Farmer

Seattle Police Detective Denise “Cookie” Bouldin believes kids can succeed when they’re given a chance and the right tools. And for her, one of those tools is the game of chess.

For about 12 years now she’s been hosting a free drop-in chess club in South Seattle. 


Police officers advise people to take cover near the scene of a shooting near the Mandalay Bay resort and casino on the Las Vegas Strip, Sunday, Oct. 1, 2017, in Las Vegas.
AP Photo/John Locher

In the wake of the Las Vegas attack, King County and Seattle law enforcement are considering training officers to deal with an elevated shooter situation.

Gunman Stephen Paddock killed 58 people at an outdoor music festival Sunday and wounded hundreds more.

FILE: Then-Councilmember Tim Burgess signs an official document after taking the oath of office and becoming the mayor of Seattle on Monday, September 18, 2017, at City Hall in Seattle.
KUOW Photo/Megan Farmer

The Seattle Police Department will take over regulation and management of off-duty work performed by officers under a new executive order from Seattle mayor Tim Burgess.

The order, signed Monday, directs SPD to set up an internal work group run by civilians to oversee outside work.

A new report says Seattle police may have been underreporting hate crimes. 

This after Police Department’s own findings showed a substantial increase in hate crime reporting last year.

In addition to helmets. proper signaling and the use of front and rear lights are required for bikers in Seattle.
Flickr Photo/iurikothe

It's illegal to ride a bike without wearing a helmet in Seattle and greater King County.

Since three bike sharing companies launched in the city, however, there's been a lot of talk about how that law is enforced.

Seattle police officers observe marchers moving down 4th Avenue during the Black Lives Matter rally in Seattle, Saturday April 15, 2017.
KUOW Photo/Daniel Berman

The Seattle Police Department says bias and hate crime reporting continues to rise in Seattle.


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