Seattle Police Chief To
Resign - Takes
'Full Responsibility'...
Seattle Police Chief to Resign - Report

SEATTLE (Reuters) - Seattle Police Chief Norm Stamper is planning to resign and says he takes full responsibility for the police handling of the violent protests that disrupted last week's World Trade Organization meeting, the Seattle Post-Intelligencer reported on Tuesday.
The newspaper said in its Internet edition that Stamper sent a letter to Mayor Paul Schell on Monday announcing his decision to step down at the end of March after six years as chief. The paper reported that Schell accepted the resignation.
Stamper said in an interview with the newspaper that he would stay on through March so he could help investigators sort out how police lost control of the demonstrations and could speak freely in doing so.
He was quoted as saying that he had made up his mind last month that he would announce his retirement in January, but the events of last week changed his timetable.
Stamper and Schell have been criticized for being unprepared for the massive demonstrations that rocked the west coast city during the world trade talks.
A small group of protesters smashed store windows and battled with police, who fired tear gas and rubber bullets. The mayhem led the mayor to impose an overnight curfew that was followed by a heavily criticized police crackdown when at least 450 protesters were arrested.
"I certainly do accept full responsibility that our officers did not get all the support they needed and deserve," Stamper told the Post-Intelligencer. "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."
Stamper was also quoted in the interview as saying that the chaos in Seattle's streets last Tuesday nearly caused President Clinton to cancel his trip to the city to speak to WTO delegates.


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