by Mark Van Streefkerk
On Monday July 27, Mayor Jenny Durkan hosted the sixth virtual Town Hall since the COVID-19 health crisis, specifically focusing on information and resources for Southeast and Central Seattle, as well as answering questions from the community about policing. Durkan was joined by public health officials, including the Director of Public Health and a spokesperson from the Seattle Police Department to answer questions and receive feedback from residents.
In her opening statements, Durkan brought up three main issues: the state of the COVID-19 crisis in Seattle and new public health resources, relief for the economic toll of the pandemic, and the “civil rights reckoning” that has led many to protest for Black lives and brought the actions of SPD under scrutiny.
Continue reading Mayor Durkan Presents COVID-19 News and Defends Not Defunding Police at Virtual Town Hall
by Erica C. Barnett
(This article was originally published on The C is for Crank and has been reprinted under an agreement.)
As calls to defund the Seattle Police Department continue, Mayor Jenny Durkan has proposed moving about $56 million out of the Seattle Police Department’s budget into other parts of the city budget — a ledger swap that could actually cost the city more money than the current system and could, advocates say, actually weaken the accountability system.
When announcing the transfers, Durkan’s office described the changes as “actions to transform the Seattle Police Department and reimagine community safety” by responding to requests from community stakeholders. However, it’s unclear where the impetus for the specific changes the mayor proposed — moving 911 dispatch, the Office of Police Accountability, and the Office of Emergency Management out of SPD — came from.
Continue reading Durkan Proposes Ledger Swap of $56 Million from SPD to Other Parts of City Budget
by Erica C. Barnett
(This article originally appeared on The C is for Crank and has been reprinted under an agreement.)
Monday morning, city council president Lorena González and public safety committee chair Lisa Herbold said they were both briefed last week by police chief Carmen Best on what the chief had previously described as “credible threats” to the Seattle Police Department East Precinct in early June, and that the chief described the threats as generalized threats to government buildings in cities up and down the West Coast rather than a specific threat to bomb, burn down, or otherwise damage the East Precinct. Best cited the alleged threats in June as one of the reasons police needed to keep protesters away from the building using tear gas, pepper spray, and eventually physical barricades in the area that became known as the CHOP.
Continue reading FBI Says There Was Specific Threat Against East Precinct; Durkan Letter Dodges Protesters’ Three Demands
by Carolyn Bick
The Seattle Community Police Commission, Office of Police Accountability, and Office of Inspector General have released a joint recommendation that the Seattle Police Department (SPD) stop using tear gas, due to the extra dangers it poses in light of the current novel coronavirus pandemic.
Continue reading Seattle CPC, OPA, OIG Release Recommendation that SPD Cease Use of Tear Gas, Due to Novel Coronavirus Concerns