Defunding the police isn’t as universally popular as its proponents would have us believe.
During a city council budget meeting on Wednesday, hundreds of Seattle residents spoke out about plans to slash funds to local law enforcement.
Specifically, the council is deliberating a plan that would reduce the city’s police budget by 50 percent (which would cause layoffs of hundreds of officers), a concession to the anti-police movements that have sprung up in Seattle and nationwide since the death of George Floyd in police custody.
Though the “Defund the Police” crusade had highly visible support early on, opponents of the plan have gradually become more vocal.
“Defunding the police is a radical experiment that will hurt the vulnerable,” one member of the public who called in to the phone meeting told the council, according to Q13 FOX.
Furthermore, the Seattle Police Officers Guild, local police union, has already gathered over 20,000 signatures on a “Stop Defunding” petition.
Yet proponents of defunding the police maintain the move would repair race relations in the community. “Nothing less than defunding will begin to heal the violence committed by police against Seattle’s Black, Brown and Indigenous communities,” said one of the approximately 300 people who called in during the three-hour meeting.
Despite reports that the public is split on the issue, a veto-proof majority on the council supports the cuts to the police department. A debate about police-related cuts is set to begin Friday, and a vote on a revised city budget for the rest of the year is expected to take place August 10.
Earlier on Wednesday, Seattle police union leader Michael Solan took to America’s Newsroom on Fox News to respond to Mayor Jenny Durkan, who had said on CNN that President Trump is deploying federal agents to Seattle and other cities as a “political tool” in a “dry run for martial law.”
Solan fired back: “Clearly what the dry run for Seattle was, the [CHOP] experience where multiple people were shot and killed.”
“Now I ask for support from any local, state or federal law enforcement entity to help us in Seattle because we almost lost the ability to have less lethal tools that are effective in holding a riotous mob back,” the union leader continued, noting, “If we lost that tool we would have lost a precinct over this past weekend and the evidence is 60 cops were hurt by improvised explosive devices projectiles, wood, frozen water bottles [and] metal.”
Solan went on to call it “unconscionable” to deny assistance to law enforcement, and he reproved elected officials for failing to “show concern for the officers that were hurt this past weekend.”
“And I have yet to hear anybody say that that is unreasonable activism, that’s criminal behavior on the behalf of the fringe group of anarchists that are pushing a political agenda,” Solan continued, adding that “cops are in the cross hairs.” He also found it “ironic” that the city wants to slash police budgets by 50 percent even while it expects additional de-escalation training for officers.
Seattle has been one of the main epicenters of rioting and violence in America. The city was famously the site of the Capitol Hill Occupied Protest, or CHOP, a six-block autonomous zone founded after BLM and other far-left groups essentially kicked police out of the Third Precinct.
Although Mayor Durkan was initially supportive of CHOP, she soured after the agitators went to her home. Police reclaimed the area at the beginning of this month, but not before two people were killed and four were wounded in separate shootings in the autonomous zone. Ironically, despite CHOP’s alignment with Black Lives Matter, the victims of the lawlessness were black.
Meanwhile, Oregon Governor Kate Brown, a Democrat, announced on Wednesday that federal agents will begin a phased withdrawal of Portland, where they have clashed with violent agitators for weeks on end in an effort to protect federal buildings from vandalism and destruction.
Acting Homeland Security Secretary Chad Wolf, however, appeared to cast doubt on Brown’s claim, asserting in a statement that “federal law enforcement will remain in Portland until the violent activity toward our federal facilities ends. We are not removing any law enforcement while our facilities and law enforcement remain under attack.”
Photo: f11photo / iStock / Getty Images Plus
Luis Miguel is a marketer and writer whose journalistic endeavors shed light on the Deep State, the immigration crisis, and the enemies of freedom. Follow his exploits on Facebook, Twitter, Bitchute, and at luisantoniomiguel.com.