Does Seattle Need 200 More Police? The View from the Police vs. the View from One Local Police Abolitionist


The fact that these folks are even part of the conversation speaks volumes about Seattle politics.

Perhaps the police could be taken out of their neighborhoods,
but left in the neighborhoods of folks who want them there.
Did Ms. Harris-Talley herself cite Aristotle in her interview? Or did you simply interject his (misappropriated) quote for the sake of a good name-drop? If it's the former, she didn't "echo" Aristotle but rather quoted him; if it's the latter, the citation has no place in your article. Either way, it's poor writing. And if you just couldn't resist a juicy "look who I've read," you should have been able to find something a little more recent than the fourth century BCE.

You might also have considered that Aristotle thought a person's status as a slave was a natural condition, that he himself owned many slaves, and that he lived in a society in which slavery was not only an institution, but an unquestioned one. The black woman you interviewed may be surprised by who she was "echoing."
Even if the city were to hire 200 more police officers, it doesn't mean the union rep is going to allow those police officers to go out and patrol. What people don't realize is, and anyone can download a copy of the current collective bargaining agreement between the city and the Seattle Police Officer's Guild, is that, it is the unionized police department, that tells the Mayor when they want to hire new police officers to increase their union membership.
@1 I agree. If specific communities want less police coverage, great! Especially since special interests are now organizing a social movement for that specific purpose and voicing such opinions, I think the rest of us should petition the city to let this happen as soon as possible.

If the Rainier Valley doesn't want active police coverage, I'm sure places like Ballard and West Seattle would love a few more cops on the beat, regardless of their ethnicity.
@1, @4

Unfortunately, the city's police abolitionists don't all live together in one neighborhood (nor would they be content with a zero-policing policy applied only to themselves, but that's a separate problem).

The vast majority of Rainier Valley residents, like the vast majority in the rest of the city's neighborhoods, wants more police presence, not less.

Ansel picked a single representative of the police abolishment advocates, which is a little weird in and of itself-- there have to be at least a couple more of these fringe radicals out there who would be willing to give him a quote. That single person could have been from any neighborhood, but this is the one Ansel picked.
Police abolition is a crazy cat-lady idea, people. Have you ever looked at what happens when cops strike in major cities? It is bedlam. We have to have authorized agents of the state to protect people and property. Murder, rape and theft would run rampant without that political Leviathan. Also, two and two makes four and rocks fall down not up, as long as we are talking about basic inviolable truths.
@6 You wouldn't have cops going on strike if they were a non-union police department. Non-union police departments don't go on strike. They would be fired for not doing their duty. Union police departments, like the Seattle Police Department, can play lots of games, work slowdowns, looking the other way to not enforce certain laws, (which is against their oath), massive call-ins for sick days, work avoidance, the list goes on and on . . . It makes elected officials look bad. People think it's their fault. What people don't realize is, because of the police officer's guild, the Mayor or the police chief cannot fire any of their policeman.
@7 - non union police officers are called security guards. Cops are not allowed to strike under state law. It's why they have a right to binding arbitration. You should probably educate yourself a little bit about labor law before you post further on the subject.

Also, I'm assuming when SPD stopped enforcing marijuana laws well in advance of decriminalization, you were vociferously opposed to that decision, right? Since you obviously think all laws need to be vigorously enforced.
When you second guess your police officers on every move they make... When you accuse your officers of racism by simply stopping a black motorist... When you allow the DOJ to come into your town and create policing policies that are unclear and at times nearly impossible to follow, you create an impossible work environment. The only choice left is de-policing. De-policing means that officers protect life and property, handle their calls as professionally as possible, conduct complete investigations, but no self-initiated field activity. No traffic stops, no drug investigations and certainly no stops of African American males. This is the climate the city is creating. It is not a protest, it is self preservation. You want them to do your dirty work but you expect it to be done without ruffling feathers. Good luck.