LOCAL NEWS

Seattle councilmembers join calls to defund police department

Jun 8, 2020, 11:34 AM | Updated: Jun 9, 2020, 6:53 am
Seattle police...
Seattle police at protests over the weekend in Seattle. (Getty Images)
(Getty Images)

Seattle City Councilmember Teresa Mosqueda called for an inquest into the police department’s budget Monday, and to eventually use half of that money to invest back into other community programs.

Police again clash with Seattle protesters overnight on Capitol Hill

“We have done many of things to reform our public safety efforts, but what we’re hearing right now is that our residents don’t feel safe from our own police,” Mosqueda said in Monday morning’s council briefing.

To that end, she called for a “full, thorough, simultaneous deep dive” into what she labeled a “black box” Seattle Police Department budget.

Mosqueda said she expects “full cooperation” from the mayor’s office and SPD, and that as budget chair, she would not approve the mayor’s revised 2020 budget until the inquest is completed.

“Across this country, people are looking for a change, and here in Seattle, we have an opportunity for true progressive leadership,” she stated.

She hopes to start the inquest immediately and issue recommendations by mid-July, “to ensure that the 2021-2022 budget fully reflects our community needs.”

Mosqueda went on to emphasize the need for “transformational” changes to the way the police functions, saying that the council should “focus on replicating what Minneapolis has done.”

Over the weekend, a veto-proof majority of Minneapolis councilmembers announced their intent to disband their police department.

“Ideally,” Mosqueda said she hopes to ultimately cut 50% of the police department’s funding to invest back into housing, equitable transit, and homelessness.

Council President Lorena Gonzalez also spoke on the need for large-scale changes rather than simply reforming the current policing system in Seattle.

Opinion: Believe what you see — Seattle police are choosing violence

“We have an obligation to respond to calls for swift, immediate, and transformational action — I don’t think we’re talking about reform anymore,” Councilmember Gonzalez said.

“I have spent my entire life trying to correct injustices, trying to find an opportunity to correct violence against black and brown folks across the state,” she continued. “I have nonetheless been committed to reform, to thinking this is something we can fix. I have come to believe we cannot fix what appears to be fundamentally broken.”

Other councilmembers echoed that sentiment, with Councilmember Debora Juarez using the “bad apple” metaphor to say that “we need to plant a new tree” (although she stopped short of endorsing a full disbanding of the department). Councilmember Alex Pedersen went on to note that he believes the city’s police officers are “working within a tainted system.”

Additionally, Mosqueda and Gonzalez expressed support for a measure Councilmember Kshama Sawant plans to introduce, which would completely ban the use of tear gas, pepper spray, and other “crowd control devices.”

Mosqueda and Tammy Morales also became the second and third councilmembers respectively to call on Jenny Durkan to step down as mayor, after Sawant put out a release to that effect on Saturday.

“I think the mayor should assess in this moment, ask herself if she is the right leader in this moment and resign,” Mosqueda said.

Local News

mount vernon...
Nicole Jennings

Mt. Vernon Schools exploring shorter summer, more mid-year breaks

The Mount Vernon School District is considering shortening summer vacation and adding more breaks during the school year.
1 day ago
auburn doughnut...
Kevin Ko, KIRO 7 News

Auburn doughnut shop site of multiple crashes

No injuries were reported, but it’s unclear if the driver was hurt. The driver left the scene by the time officers arrived, according to Crossley.
1 day ago
Microsoft...
Heather Bosch

FTC sues to block Microsoft from buying maker of Call of Duty

The FTC is suing to block Microsoft's $69 billion deal to acquire video game company Activision Blizzard, which produces Call of Duty.
1 day ago
Pierce County investigation into Sheriff...
Darren Dedo

Pierce Co. searching for teens who assaulted man on bus

The Pierce County Sheriff's Office said surveillance video showed the suspects boarded the bus at the Spanaway Walmart at 5:07 p.m.
1 day ago
Pierce County Sheriff Ed Troyer...
Bill Kaczaraba

Gee Scott: Sheriff Ed Troyer is ‘an embarrassment’ to all officers

Gee Scott says "Ed Troyer is an embarrassment to all the men and women of the Pierce County Sheriff's Department."
1 day ago
winter...
L.B. Gilbert

WSDOT: Drivers need to be prepared heading over the passes

After a series of multi-car collisions on the mountain passes, WSDOT says drivers are not prepared to drive in winter weather conditions.
1 day ago

Sponsored Articles

Comcast Ready for Business Fund...
Ilona Lohrey | President and CEO, GSBA

GSBA is closing the disparity gap with Ready for Business Fund

GSBA, Comcast, and other partners are working to address disparities in access to financial resources with the Ready for Business fund.
SHIBA WA...

Medicare open enrollment is here and SHIBA can help!

The SHIBA program – part of the Office of the Insurance Commissioner – is ready to help with your Medicare open enrollment decisions.
Lake Washington Windows...

Choosing Best Windows for Your Home

Lake Washington Windows and Doors is a local window dealer offering the exclusive Leak Armor installation.
Anacortes Christmas Tree...

Come one, come all! Food, Drink, and Coastal Christmas – Anacortes has it all!

Come celebrate Anacortes’ 11th annual Bier on the Pier! Bier on the Pier takes place on October 7th and 8th and features local ciders, food trucks and live music - not to mention the beautiful views of the Guemes Channel and backdrop of downtown Anacortes.
Swedish Cyberknife Treatment...

The revolutionary treatment of Swedish CyberKnife provides better quality of life for majority of patients

There are a wide variety of treatments options available for men with prostate cancer. One of the most technologically advanced treatment options in the Pacific Northwest is Stereotactic Body Radiation Therapy using the CyberKnife platform at Swedish Medical Center.
Work at Zum Services...

Seattle Public Schools announces three-year contract with Zum

Seattle Public Schools just announced a three-year contract with a brand-new company to the Pacific Northwest to assist with their student transportation: Zum.
Seattle councilmembers join calls to defund police department