Then-Seattle Police Chief Carmen Best laughs during a light moment at a news conference Aug. 11 in Seattle. Best, the first Black woman to lead Seattle’s police department, stepped down in September following cuts to her budget that would reduce the department by as many as 100 officers. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren, file)

Then-Seattle Police Chief Carmen Best laughs during a light moment at a news conference Aug. 11 in Seattle. Best, the first Black woman to lead Seattle’s police department, stepped down in September following cuts to her budget that would reduce the department by as many as 100 officers. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren, file)

Seattle’s ex-police chief joins KING as law enforcement analyst

Carmen Best retired from the police department amid a controversy over proposed budget cuts.

Associated Press

SEATTLE — Former Seattle Police Chief Carmen Best has joined a Seattle television station as a law enforcement analyst.

“I am honored to have Chief Best on the KING 5 News team,” said News Director Pete Saiers. “At a time when we are reporting extensively on issues of law enforcement, our audiences will benefit from hearing her unique expertise and insider’s perspective.”

Best made her first appearance on KING 5 News on Monday, the media outlet reported.

Best, a military veteran who joined the department in 1992, became Seattle’s first Black police chief more than two years ago. She retired last month amid a controversy over proposed police cuts and the department’s response to protests spurred by the police killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis.

City Council members and residents had criticized Durkan and Best as officers repeatedly used tear gas, blast balls and other less-lethal weapons indiscriminately and at times without provocation, prompting a federal judge to restrain their use.

Best insisted that officers had a right to defend themselves.

A Tacoma native, Best’s education includes a certificate in police management from the University of Washington and Master of Science degree in criminal justice from Northeastern University.

“I’m thrilled for this opportunity,” Best said.

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