Seattle residents: Defunding the police is a ‘radical experiment’ that will only ‘hurt the vulnerable’

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SEATTLE, WA – The Seattle City Council held a budget meeting discussing a proposal of a police department budget cut by 50% on July 29.  The proposal would suggest $85 million to be cut from the police budget for the remainder of the year.

As one may have guessed, there aren’t many Seattle residents who approve.

Over 300 people signed up to speak at the budget meeting, many of whom were against the drastic cuts.

One caller described the move as a “radical experiment that will hurt the vulnerable.”

Another person said:

“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 caller, who said the department is already understaffed as it is, commented:

“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.”

As of Sunday afternoon, the Seattle Police Officers Guild garnered over 100,000 signatures for it’s “Stop Defunding” petition. In four days.

Michael Solan, President of Seattle Police Officers Guild, appeared Wednesday on Fox News. He said:

“Seattle will be a lawless wasteland. Fifty percent of the budget is 85% salary.

“The president of the Seattle City Council and the mayor are saying that the Seattle Police Department is the most progressive agency in this nation, that leads the way in training and de-escalation and policies.

“I find it ironic that the city council is now looking to defund us by 50%.  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.”

Solan referenced the protests in Portland last weekend as well. To that, he said:

“[59] cops have been injured this past weekend by improvised explosive devices, projectiles, wood, frozen water bottles, and metal by rioters and denying police assistance would be unconscionable.”

Seattle Police Chief Carmen Best said police seized a van that contained explosives at a weekend protest that had be organized in solidarity with demonstrations in Portland on July 25.

A group of protesters headed to the Youth Service Center, which is under construction, and tossed “incendiary devices, Molotov cocktails,” into the construction site, destroying several trailers. 

When the group moved to the East Precinct, a van reportedly followed them, with people being spotted “removing items and distributing them to people within the group.”

The items described included baseball bats, pyrotechnic explosives, APR respirators, improvised shields, and face masks, said Best.

Moments later, an explosive blew and 8-inch hole into the wall of the East Precinct. 

When the vehicle was parked and abandoned, Best said, there was real fear that it would contain devices that could detonate.

The vehicle was impounded and a judge granted detectives a search warrant. Best said investigators discovered one pyrotechnic explosive and smoke bombs bundled together, bear spray–using it on anything but bears is a federal offense– pepper spray, stun guns, and improvised spike strips.

Chief Best said:

“Not everyone that comes to these protests is peaceful…Peaceful protesters do not show up with a van full of bear spray, stun guns, spike strips, and explosives.”

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 and violence prevention.”

The resolution does not call for the total abolition of the police, but it does suggest replacing the police force with nonprofit programs and “community-led activities.”

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

It 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.” The resolution further states that “all empty housing stock in the city should be used until any unhoused person who wants a place to live has one.”

The council will vote on a new budget on August 10.

Check back with Law Enforcement Today for updates.

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Here’s more on the current shaky state of the City of Seattle brought to you previously by Law Enforcement Today.

 
Chalk another one up to “peaceful protesters.” KIRO in Seattle is reporting that the Seattle Police Department is investigating a case in which a 47-year-old was assaulted when he confronted some of those “peaceful” protesters outside of his home on Thursday.

Police were called to the Swedish Hospital, where the victims was receiving treatment for a head injury.

According to the victim, he said that around midnight he was unable to sleep due to the raucous protest outside his home making its way through the neighborhood. He went outside to record the incident on his phone.

Some of the protesters were angry that he was recording them, and started to flash laser pointers in his eyes, then struck him in the head with an object believed by officials to be a flashlight.

Some of the protesters actually provided first aid to the victim. While that was occurring, one of the people who was involved with the protest deleted the video from his cell phone. He was then driven to the hospital by a member of his family.

Investigators were able to confirm the victim’s story through witness statements, and they also found several surveillance cameras that captured the incident.

Officers took photos of blood splatter that was found at the scene.

According to Hot Air, around 80-100 protesters were walking throughout the neighborhood with the intention to protest at the home of Teresa Mosqueda, a member of the Seattle City Council.

However, neighbors said that Mosqueda doesn’t even live in the neighborhood anymore.

According to the police report:

“Officers met the victim at Swedish Hospital early this morning, where he was receiving treatment for a head injury. The victim told officer that around 12 am, he was attempting to sleep but was kept awake by a protest that had been making its way through the neighborhood. He said that he went outside his home near 10th Ave W and W Lee Street and asked the crowd to quiet down so that he could sleep, video recording the confrontation on his phone.

“The man said that members of the protest became angry that he was recording them, flashed laser pointers in his eyes, and then struck him in the head with a blunt object, possibly a flashlight. Several other protesters provided first aid to the victim, while according to the victim, a person with the protest deleted the video on his phone. A family member transported the victim to the hospital, where he met with police.

“Officers spoke with multiple witnesses who confirmed the victim’s story, found surveillance cameras that may have captured the incident, and took photos of blood splatter at the crime scene.

KIRO was able to acquire two videos of the incident posted by members of the protest group. It showed a woman shining a flashlight directly at the victim’s face from around two feet away. The victim then pulled the flashlight out of her hand and threw it onto the ground.

 

At that point, several members of the group began to shove him, and he ended upon the ground. It wasn’t clear who exactly assaulted the man and struck him in the head, but there was no appearance that any of the protesters had been injured prior to the assault.

Hot Air noted that what occurred was “pretty standard operating procedure for protesters.” Cause a ruckus, confront anyone with a camera and then escalate the situation. That was done in this case by shining a flashlight in the man’s face to cause further irritation.

Police told Hot Air that they would try to identify those responsible, however without the video from the victim’s camera, it might be difficult to do so.

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