Seattle Police Chief Resigns Following WTO Riotsgreenspun.com : LUSENET : TimeBomb 2000 (Y2000) : One Thread
LinkSeattle Police Chief Resigns Following WTO Riots The Associated Press
SEATTLE (AP) - The city's police chief announced his resignation in the wake of violent, fiery protests that marred the World Trade Organization's conference here last week.
Chief Norm Stamper, 54, revealed the decision in a letter given to Mayor Paul Schell over the weekend, and in an interview published in today's Seattle Post-Intelligencer.
The chief said he decided last month that he would retire in January, but moved up the announcement because of the WTO protests. His resignation will take effect in March.
"I certainly do accept full responsibility that our officers did not get all the support they needed and deserve," Stamper said of the protests. "As the chief, it's fundamentally important for people to understand that we knew this was going to be big. We knew that there was a potential for violence and destructive behavior."
Seattle is still reeling from the WTO protests, during which thousands of people took to the streets to rally for human rights, labor, the environment, and other concerns.
There was widespread vandalism and police used tear gas and fired rubber bullets on people during violent protests. The National Guard was deployed, a curfew was put in place and more than 500 people were arrested.
No serious injuries resulted, but downtown merchants have reported more than $2 million in property damage and $17 million in lost retail sales.
King County Sheriff David Reichert and some Seattle police officers openly blamed Stamper and Schell for the chaos.
Police critics said tear gas and rubber bullets were fired indiscriminately and that innocent workers, shoppers and residents were swept up in the arrest of more than 500 people late Tuesday and Wednesday.
Some officers said the chief's failure to anticipate violence left their ranks so thin and supplies of tear gas and pepper spray so limited that they could not maintain order. Many said they spent nearly 20 exhausting hours on the front lines without food or backup support.
Stamper's resignation follows nearly nine months of turmoil over the integrity of the police department's internal investigations division - the latest in a series of episodes that strained relations between the chief and the city's 1,200 uniformed officers during his nearly six-year tenure.
Since March, the department has been rocked by corruption accusations against two prominent homicide detectives.
Stamper was lauded by supporters as a stalwart advocate of community policing who landed millions of dollars in federal funds for the effort.
Barely six months into the job, he riled many in the ranks by wearing his uniform in a gay pride parade while barring officers from marching in uniform at a March for Jesus the same weekend.
Before coming to Seattle, he was the executive assistant police chief in San Diego.
-- Deborah (firstname.lastname@example.org), December 07, 1999
Sounds like major metropolitan area police are ready for any Y2K disruption. I feel safe now.
-- SlickWillie (ubigHICK@yahoo.com), December 07, 1999.
I suggest you read this sophisticated analysis of the Seattle 'riots':
Joel Skousen's Analysis of Seattle Riots
-- wary of (email@example.com), December 07, 1999.
"No serious injuries occurred"
I would call death a serious injury. We have heard of at least one miscarriage.
-- tree (firstname.lastname@example.org), December 07, 1999.