SNOHOMISH — A large number of protesters gathered outside Seattle Police Chief Carmen Best’s unincorporated Snohomish County home Saturday, prompting neighbors and law enforcement to intervene.
Best addressed the incident in a letter Sunday to the Seattle City Council.
“A residence of mine in Snohomish County was targeted by a large group of aggressive protestors late last night,” she wrote. “My neighbors were concerned by such a large group, but they were successful in ensuring the crowd was not able to trespass or engage in other illegal behavior in the area, despite repeated attempts to do so.”
An estimated 200 people gathered outside her home on the outskirts of Snohomish, but by the time deputies arrived most were gone, Snohomish County Sheriff Adam Fortney said in a prepared statement.
That approximated number was calculated from callers who reported the crowd and deputies who arrived on scene, sheriff’s office spokesperson Courtney O’Keefe said.
Video circulating on social media shows trucks blocking a road, and people who appear to live in the area confronting demonstrators. Both neighbors and protesters were reported as being armed, O’Keefe said.
Protests have been ongoing in Seattle and elsewhere for the past two months, following the death of George Floyd who died May 25 while in custody of Minneapolis police.
In June, a group marched near Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan’s house. And last week protesters showed up at the homes of other King County elected officials, including those of a few on the Seattle City Council and King County Executive Dow Constantine, according to The Seattle Times.
In her letter, Best asked the Seattle City Council to “forcefully call for the end of these tactics.”
“These direct actions against elected officials, and especially civil servants like myself, are out of line and go against every democratic principle that guides our nation,” she wrote.
Best was not home at the time of the incident, around 8:30 p.m. Saturday, Fortney said in his statement.
“The Snohomish County Sheriff’s Office has been supportive and accommodating to all peaceful protests that have occurred in our jurisdiction,” he wrote. “With that said, protestors targeting one individual’s house is a bullying tactic that will certainly require an extra patrol response to ensure every resident in Snohomish County can feel safe in their own home, with their loved ones, no matter what they choose to do to make a living.”
He asks that in the future, protesters gather outside of government buildings instead of a person’s home.
Snohomish County Councilmember Sam Low represents District 5. It encompasses much of east county, including Best’s home. Low wasn’t there that night, but believes his constituents are concerned.
He said he supports peaceful protests that have been popping up in Snohomish County lately, but believes visiting someone’s private property is pushing the limits.
“People need to feel safe and secure in their homes,” he said.