The Seattle City Council voted Monday to move forward with their proposal that would begin the process of defunding the police department. The 7-1 vote comes despite objections from the city’s police chief, mayor and the Seattle Police Officers’ Guild.
The plan would ultimately slash funding to the department, but not the 50% some had sought. Seattle currently has around 1,400 police officers, and the current plan would cut nearly 100 officers. It would also cut the police department’s $400 million budget by about $3 million, according to KOMO.
Councilmember Kshama Sawant was the sole “no” vote because she felt the proposals didn’t go far enough, while Debora Juarez abstained, according to MyNorthWest.com.
BREAKING: The Seattle City Council has just voted to move forward with the process of defunding their police.
If you live in or around Seattle, get out!
— Ryan Fournier (@RyanAFournier) August 11, 2020
The council reviewed a final set of amendments Monday evening before the vote, which included reducing the police department by up to 100 officers through layoffs and attrition as well as cutting the $285,000 annual salary of the Police Chief Carmen Best and other top officers. Best is the city’s first Black police chief and the pay cut would put her salary well below her white predecessor.
As previously reported by 100% FED Up:
Businesses and police precincts in Seattle boarded their properties in preparation for expected violent ANTIFA and Black Lives Matters. The protective measures were taken after Seattle Police Chief Carmen Best sent a letter to Seattle businesses and residents that police, having been stripped by the City Council of standard non-lethal riot control tools, will not be able to defend property from rioters.
Seattle’s police officers will now respond to protests and rioting through “adjusted deployment” methods because of a new city law that bans them from using some crowd-control tools, the city’s police chief said Friday.
The Seattle police chief is sending out letters telling residents: "We cannot enforce the law. You are on your own." pic.twitter.com/89jyezSBMS
— Christopher F. Rufo (@realchrisrufo) July 25, 2020
The council’s plan also removes officers from a team that dismantles homeless camps, according to Fox News.
The move to defund the city’s Navigation Team, and redirect the money to homeless outreach services such as REACH will “dramatically restrict the city’s ability to address unauthorized encampments,” Jason Johnson, Interim Director of Seattle’s Human Services Department, wrote in a letter to the council last week.
— Brandi Kruse (@BrandiKruse) August 11, 2020
Some council members have said the initial cuts are a first step to more sweeping reductions and a rethinking of law enforcement in Seattle.
“It’s important to show community members that we hear them, that we’re working towards the same goal,” Councilwoman Teresa Mosqueda said last week.
Far-left Democratic mayor Jenny Durkan and Police Chief Best have urged the council to slow down its discussions about police budgets, saying the issue can be taken up in earnest when the 2021 city budget is considered. They also argued any layoffs would disproportionately target newer officers, often hired from minority communities, and would inevitably lead to lawsuits.
Reducing funding for police departments has been the forefront of the far-left cry in Seattle and other cities around the country following the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis.
As recent as Sunday night, vandals in Seattle targeted several stores in the city’s First Hill neighborhood, breaking glass doors at a Chase Bank and Key Bank branch. Vandals also took aim at a boarded-up Starbucks and several other businesses in the area, local media reported.