Seattle business owners close shop as city moves to defund police: 'Safety became paramount'

Seattle shop owners close business after city council’s decision to defund the police

Steepologie Tea Seattle owners Andrea and Joe Raetzer speak out.

The push to defund the Seattle police is causing a local business owner to close his store, said Matt Raetzer, owner of Steelpologie Teas.

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“It was a decision after deliberation. We’ve been there for three and a half years. That was our first store,” Raetzer told “Fox & Friends.”

Raetzer said that over the past several years the police have made “best efforts to stem the tide of growing homelessness, open-air drug use and violence.”

“Seattle City Hall seems to continue to hobble their efforts to make a change,” he said.

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Meanwhile, Seattle Police Chief Carmen Best on Tuesday announced her resignation, saying that she was not leaving because of pay cuts to her department, but because of the “lack of respect” toward her fellow officers.

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Best’s resignation comes amid the City Council’s decision to reduce the department by as many as 100 officers through layoffs and attrition.

In response to a reporter who asked if her decision was motivated by protesters who appeared at her home earlier this month or the City Council’s decision, Best said it "is not about the money, and it certainly isn’t about the demonstrators."

Raetzer said that near his store in Seattle there were multiple shootings resulting in injuries and death.

“Several people were murdered and several people were injured and so at that point, safety became paramount,” he said.

“Then when the Seattle City Hall started talking about defunding the police, we had to think about closing the store instead of pressing forward.”

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 Fox News' Bradford Betz contributed to this report.

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