Seattle City Council Moves to Defund Police and Create ‘Civilian Led Department’

SEATTLE, WA - JULY 01: Police detain a person as city crews dismantle the Capitol Hill Organized Protest (CHOP) area outside of the Seattle Police Department's vacated East Precinct on July 1, 2020 in Seattle, Washington. Police reported making at least 31 arrests while clearing the CHOP area this morning. …
David Ryder/Getty Images

The Seattle City Council, which has been mulling a proposal to defund the Seattle Police Department, drafted a resolution which would both defund the police and create a “civilian led department of community safety & violence prevention.”

While the resolution does not call for the total abolition of the police, it explicitly states the council’s intention of funding “community-led activities” which would “accompany” their effort to defund Seattle Police:

In essence, the resolution would “remove certain functions from the Seattle Police Department and provide funding for a community-led process to inform the structure and function of a new department of community safety & violence prevention,” per the proposal.

In the resolution, the council recognizes “the nation’s and Seattle’s history of racism” and the impacts institutional racism has had on “communities of color and especially in Black communities.”

It further refers to policing as a “racist institution” and cites the “harmful impacts of white supremacy culture, and the Seattle Police Department’s (SPD) role in perpetuating racism and violence.”

The resolution seeks to fund organizations with certain characteristics, including “culturally-relevant expertise rooted in community connections and support” and “trauma-informed, gender-affirming anti-racist praxis”:

The measure also demands a commitment to expand housing access and explicitly states that the city should prioritize the “immediate transfer of underutilized public land for BIPOC community ownership.”

What is more, the resolution states that “all empty housing stock in the city should be used until any unhoused person who wants a place to live has one.” Recipients would not be subject to extensive looks at criminal or addiction records:

The proposal comes as more Seattle residents voice their opposition to the council’s proposal to slash police department funding. Many called into Wednesday’s budget meeting to express disapproval.

As Breitbart News reported:

One caller phoned in to describe the move as a “radical experiment that will hurt the vulnerable.”

“Seattle City Council, you are irresponsibly not fully representing your constituents by making the reckless decision of defunding our police department by 50 percent,” another stated.

Another noted the Seattle Police Department is “already understaffed” and pointed out that the need for the department will increase as the city grows.

“I do not want less officers, I want more officers who are able to respond to priority calls in seven minutes or less. We don’t live in Utopia,” the individual added.

Seattle Police Officers Guild President Michael Solan has warned that defunding the Seattle Police “will make CHAZ/CHOP, the experience that it was, look like child’s play.”

“I find it ironic that the city council is now looking to defund us by 50 percent. That move will make CHAZ/CHOP, the experience that it was, look like child’s play, when you have up to 800 officers that will lose their jobs,” he told America’s Newsroom this week.

“Because, as you know, Trace, 50 percent of the budget is 85 percent salary. Seattle will be a lawless wasteland,” he added.

.

Please let us know if you're having issues with commenting.