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‘Support SPD’ protesters gather in front of City Hall Wednesday

Protesters gathered Wednesday. (Meilli Cady, KIRO Radio)

Protesters gathered in front of City Hall in downtown Seattle on Wednesday, voicing their opposition to a bid from city councilmembers to cut the police department’s budget by 50%.

Just over 100 people were reportedly in attendance; 269 total people RSVP’d as “going” on the Facebook event page.

“I think so far, throughout the month of May and June, we’ve heard a lot from what I think is the loud minority,” Jacob, a police officer himself, told KIRO Radio. “We’re just out here today to help show some support for police; just let them know that there are people out there that support them.”

“Our Seattle police officers want to protect our city; they should not be demonized,” agreed Michelle, another protester at the event.

The proposal councilmembers are looking at right now would scale down SPD’s remaining budget for 2020 by 12% monthly increments, totaling 50% by the end of the year, while scaling up a civilian-led 911 response system, community based organizations, and more.

Protesters on Wednesday echoed sentiments shared by SPD Chief Carmen Best, who claims that any such cuts will make the department unable to function.

“It is completely reckless,” Best said Tuesday on KIRO Radio’s Gee & Ursula Show. “And there’s no way that we can operate a police department and we can take care of public safety — we were already below normal staffing levels, and to decimate the department and want us to lay off that mass number of officers, it absolutely makes no sense.”

Wednesday’s protest was scheduled to take place in advance of a pair of Seattle council budget committee meetings set for 10 a.m. and 2 p.m., respectively.

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