Former Police Chief Carmen Best, who oversaw the Seattle Police Department during violent racial justice protests in 2020, is reported to be a finalist to head the New York City Police Department.
Citing several unnamed sources, the New York Post reported Wednesday that Best is among three candidates considered “favorites” on the shortlist of New York Mayor-elect Eric Adams for the six to eight women police chief. The New York Times also reported Wednesday, based on an unnamed source, that Best is one of “at least two black women” considered by Adams for the position of New York City Police Commissioner.
Best, during an interview with The Seattle Times on Wednesday about her new book, Black in Blue: Leadership Lessons, Overcoming Barriers and Racial Reconciliation, brought up the Post’s report from the start of the discussion, saying she did not want to comment or talk about it.
When asked later in an interview if she would ever think about becoming Chief of Police again, she replied, “As far as the future is concerned, I am not ruling anything out.”
Others cited in the Post’s report as potential candidates to head the nation’s largest police department include Philadelphia Police Chief Daniel Outlaw and former Newark, New Jersey Police Chief Yvonne Roman. The Times report mentions current NYPD Patrol Chief Juanita Holmes as another potential candidate.
The New York City Police Department, with over 36,000 officers and 19,000 civil servants, dwarfs the roughly 1,200 Seattle Department staff that Best led for two years before suddenly leaving due to the fallout and budget cuts from the 2020 demonstrations.
After Best, then the acting head of Seattle, first stepped down in a leadership position, in 2018 Mayor Jenny Durcan appointed him permanent leader after outrage in society. She led the department during last year’s protests against racial justice and police reform, which lasted several weeks after the assassination of George Floyd by the Minneapolis police.
Best, 56, who was a frequent guest on national cable talk shows during the riots, announced her sudden resignation as chief after city council proposals to cut the department’s budget.
In her book, which was released last week, Best blames the council’s dealt with her and the drive to cut police funding by 50 percent as the reason for her departure. Portions of the book about what happened during the events of 2020 have been contested by councilors and others who criticized the department’s use of tear gas and other tyrannical practices under Best’s command that sparked public outrage, lawsuits, and a federal judge’s contempt for LDS.
In June, former city councilor and mayoral candidate Bruce Harrell, who appeared to be on his way to winning the race for Seattle mayor, told The Seattle Times that he considered Best the “exemplary” police chief he still has. seeks advice on public safety issues. … Harrell is likely to preside over the next Seattle city department head, which is facing a staffing crisis and remains under federal scrutiny under the consent order.
Asked in June if he was considering bringing Best back, Harrell said, “I don’t rule it out altogether.”
Best said in an interview on Wednesday that she “has a lot of respect” for Harrell, but added, “I’m not going to be Chief in Seattle again.”