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Seattle City Council Votes to Move Forward with Proposal That Defunds the Police Department



Badge Logo for the Seattle Police Department | Seattle City Council Votes to Move Forward with Proposal That Defunds the Police Department | Featured

On Monday, the Seattle City Council has voted to move forward with a proposal. This proposal would commence the defunding of the police department.

According to Fox News, the 7-1 vote “comes despite objections from the city's police chief, mayor and the Seattle Police Officers' Guild.”

The plan “will reduce funding to the Seattle Police Department by 14 percent for the remainder of 2020,” Komo News explained. The report then added that the council's budget plan is far below the 50 percent reduction. It's far “that some members had lobbied for and community groups had demanded.”

The sole “no” vote came from councilmember Kshama Sawant as she felt the proposals did not go far enough.

The Police Defunding Proposal

The council reviewed a final set of amendments before the vote. This includes the reduction of the police department by up to 100 officers. It also includes the cutting of Police Chief Carmen Best’s annual salary.

Additionally, the plan removes officers from a team that dismantles homeless camps as well, as reported by Fox News.

“While we can’t do everything in this summer rebalancing package, we have set the path forward for tremendous work in front of us as a council and as a city,” said Councilwoman Teresa Mosqueda.

Jason Johnson, Interim Director of Seattle’s Human Services Department, wrote in a letter to the council. He said that he is writing “with great concern regarding your action to completely eliminate the Navigation Team with no plan on how to address an encampment that may pose significant public health or public safety concerns, or maintains accessibility of parks, sidewalks, streets, alleyways and businesses.”

He added that the action will “dramatically restrict the City’s ability to address unauthorized encampments on City property.”

According to some council members, the initial cuts are the first step to more reductions. It also serves as a rethinking of law enforcement in the city, as reported by Fox News.

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