The reason Seattle now has a Capitol Hill Autonomous Zone (CHAZ) is that police abandoned the 13th precinct, creating a vacuum of authority that others have now stepped in to fill. Today, police chief Carmen Best released a video in which she spoke directly to her officers saying the decision to abandon the precinct was not hers. And while she didn’t say whose decision it was, she seemed to suggest the decision came from the city under public pressure.

“Leaving the precinct was not my decision,” Chief Best said. She continued, “You fought for days to protect it. I asked you to stand on that line, day in and day out, to be pelted with projectiles, to be screamed at, threatened and in some cases hurt. Then to have a change of course nearly two weeks in. It seems like an insult to you and our community. Ultimately, the city had other plans for the building and relented to severe public pressure. I’m angry about how this all came about.”

Later in this clip, Best talks about reports that armed people are “patrolling” the autonomous zone and even demanding people’s identification. She asked anyone who has experienced this to file a police report.

As Chief Best predicted in this clip, her comments were leaked to the media. However, at a joint press conference later in the day, Mayor Jenny Durkan struck a conciliatory tone saying the autonomous zone was not “an armed, antifa, militia, no-go zone” but was in fact not that different from block parties the city sometimes hosts in the summer. Asked when police would return to the abandoned precinct, Durkan said the goal was to avoid recreating the point of conflict with protesters over barriers set up in the street.

But at the same press conference, Chief Best sounded less pleased with the situation. She pointed out that barriers in the street were removed to eliminate a point of contention. However, since then protesters have set up their own barriers in the streets around the autonomous zone. So apparently the issue wasn’t the barriers, it was who was in control of them.

Chief Best also noted that response time for 911 calls in the area have gone from 5 minutes to at least 15 minutes: “In the first day of the SPD not having access to the precinct, response times for crimes in progress were over 15 minutes, about three times as long as the average…If that is your mother, your sister, your cousin, your neighbor’s kid being raped, robbed, assaulted or otherwise victimized, you’re not going to want to have to report that it took the police three times longer to get there.”

Here’s the press conference with Mayor Durkan and Chief Best.