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Radical Seattle City Council Still Trying to Defund Police

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Seattle leaders are sparring over leftist efforts to defund the city’s police department once again.

Last week, Seattle City Council members proposed a budget that would cut nearly $10 million from the police department. 

“Over the last seven weeks,” said Budget Committee Chair Teresa Mosqueda, “we have diligently been working to try and to address many of the items that community members and council members have been flagging to make sure that we address the needs that are compounding throughout our city and invest in a more just and equitable Seattle.”.

Mayor Jenny Durkan, a Democrat, had previously rolled out a budget that would add more money to the police department so they could begin to hire officers and fill the hundreds of spots that were left open by retiring officers. She dismissed the city council’s budget cut as a failure and blamed the city council for the recent staffing shortages in the Seattle Police Department.

“City’s Council’s previous promise to defund SPD by 50%, their treatment of Police Chief Carmen Best and their previous layoff budget led to an exodus of 325 officers from SPD in the last two years,” Durkan said in a statement. “Continued cuts to SPD and underfunding the 911 center are not a plan for true public safety.

“We need alternatives to armed police responses, and we have significantly ramped up these alternatives,” she continued. “But when someone calls 911 with a dangerous, potentially life-threatening emergency — we need enough police officers to respond.”

Seattle’s leftist city council continues to move ahead with its “Defund the Police” agenda despite Durkan’s objections and despite the fact that city residents thoroughly rejected it when they elected a Republican city attorney last month.

Republican Ann Davison won with 58% of the vote after running a campaign on the belief that the city attorney’s office is not for setting policy or pushing a “radical agenda.” Her opponent, Democrat Nicole Thomas-Kennedy, supported the “Defund the Police” movement and advocated for eliminating all misdemeanor charges in the city. She also admitted to having a “rabid hatred of police.”

Seattle Mayor-elect Bruce Harrell pointed to Davison’s win as proof that the city council’s proposed budget cuts are not what the city wants.

“The voters of Seattle resoundingly and unambiguously rejected defunding the police,” he said in a statement. “Our campaign expressed a clear message and commitment: We must deliver true community safety, ensure unbiased policing, and decrease length of response times by improving training, hiring more and better officers, creating unarmed and alternative responses, and changing the culture within SPD. That vision and those goals for improvement and reform cannot be achieved with this proposed $10 million cut.”

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