Seattle's Mayor and Police Chief Keep Gaslighting the City About Defunding SPD



There will be no gaslighting if we stop the insanity.


I like Jenny and will (if it gets that far) vote against Recall and vote for her on ‘21.


I see we're negotiating.


Let's cut the SPD budget 98% and then we'll rebuild next year.

Would you like to do MORE negotiating?


"'Defund the police' is a slogan that supports divesting funds from police departments and reallocating them to non-policing forms of public safety and community support, such as social services, youth services, housing, education, healthcare and other community resources..." Defunding is not mutually exclusive with securing the community, as well as building trust in the institutions regardless of race or socioeconomic status. But for that to stand the law must be applied without prejudice by those who love justice and order by the pen instead of the baton.

Defunding the police seems aimed at getting property owners to wake up to the need to hold oppressive policing with impunity against people of color accountable. Instead it makes people nervous that their property or lives may be threatened in the slightest, not realizing that their passivity to what only requires their attention and disapproval would secure them further still.

But it also shows that there are ways to prevent and subvert crime and violence by investing in community resources and putting in the work to give a shit about each other's welfare so we don't stand by passive as any one of us is shot in the head by a less-lethal weapon by a loose cannon with untreated PTSD lashing out at 'NPCs.' Churches and faith centers are well equipped to bolster these efforts.

And if that is too much to grasp, then don't militarize the police because imagine if Trump were Obama doing that. It only takes one election to upset the norms and restraints of common sense and for a person of the opposite faction to oppress you. Great power requires great responsibility. Look at that "fireworks" explosion for proof.


I think Best and Durkin have good and legitimate concerns to raise, but they have shown no good faith or openess to discussions or collaboration.


Yeah, only the unserious like arbitrary.


The word "gaslighting" used to mean something pretty specific and useful, but I guess now it's just another unneeded synonym for "bullshitting."


@8 - Agreed


@7 friend, the current budget is "arbitrary".


Say, will we ever learn how the decision was made to abandon the East Precinct building was made? Or is the truth too embarrassing to someone in power.


@11: You can argue that, but at least budges are based on data from actual expenditures and revenue.


Your caption reminded me of something I learned in college. "Not to decide is to decide".

Got a chuckle out of what you wrote.


I don't know why you're mad at the Mayor and the Chief; they were never on board with "defund". It's the City Council hedging and moving the goalposts on what "defund" really means.


@14 You're showing your age there friend, it's been like 35 years since anyone played Permanent Waves in the dorms.




Personally, I think the police, as well as teachers and public servants, should be paid a high wage in line with the risks to their lives they take for our communal protection to attract more people to the profession who take the work seriously, believe in enforcing the spirit and the letter of the law, and will not abuse the power. People should learn self defense as well in the community, discipline and confidence can diffuse conflict before it turns into a crime scene.


Go ahead, lay-off experienced senior officers, simply because they are white. First of all, those officers will never miss a paycheck, and this joke of a city will be tied up in lawsuits for years. If these (white) officers are smart, they wake each morning praying that the City Council moves forward with this insane plan. Mayor Durken is no friend of SPD. However, she is an attorney and she has enough sense to see through the arbitrary "50% defund" nonsense.


But I don't think we should be spending our taxpayer's money to arm the police with the equivalent of the Standing Rock display on US Citizens, other than in extreme cases like a SWAT team intervening in a barricaded person or terroristic threats and the like. But police must be held accontable. They must respect their training. They must not be hired back if they are a problem and unreformed. The people who right the laws funnel them to members of the legislatures who have their legislative counsel drafting attorneys prepare them for codification, criminal justice statutes and criminal procedure suggestions for new judges elected on party line in many states, reinforcing the mechanisms of the highest bidder. In some places in this country, the law and arbitrary discretion of a judge's personal prejudice shatter the face of justice with two faces. We must demand better for the integrity of the law; high crimes and misdemeanors cannot go ignored by the top courts in the land while we enforce draconian punishments for those that can be reformed and have harmed none but themselves.


@20 I know rite? What did all those constitution-writer guys think they were doing, giving spending power to legislatures instead of executives.


Why are we pretending like this is still a debate?

A veto proof majority of the city council has decided to honor the will of their voters to cut the SPD budget by 50%.

Who cares if mayor Durkan and Chief Best, both bought and paid for by the corrupt police union feel otherwise?

The decision has been made. No one has forgotten that it was mayor Durkan and Chief Best who defended the right of the SPD to attack peaceful protestors.

Let them piss and moan all they want. They're on the wrong side of history and their lies and scare tactics aren't working. Cut the budget and move on.


Anyone that believes that there won't be slower 911 response times after a drastic budget cut is an idiot.


@13 The point is that changing the budget from one arbitrary number to a different arbitrary number might be a good idea or it might be a bad idea but the arbitrary nature of the numbers is neither here nor there. You need a better objection.


@31: I do. Tell me the data supporting 50% reduction. There is none.

Budgets are based on past data, forecasts based on budgets can be arbitrary, but they are at least based on actual data. The 50% figure is haphazard.


@22: "I know, rite"

No, you didn't "know".


Neither side really wants to "defund" or even "reform" the police. If they did, they'd already be working on it. They just want to pose.


I could have sword the CM's name is Herbold, with a B.

Anyway, didn't she end up paying a fine for contacting the Chief directly? So it sounds like someone who is able to learn.


@33 Oh? You live in a country where the executives have the power of the purse and not the legislators, then?


@38: It's not about that. It's that you used the idiom "I know, right?" and then twisted the "know" into something unleaded to what @20 was saying.

But this is too stupid for you to reply back about. So I'll give you the benefit of the doubt that I misread you to spare this thread from further back-and-forth.


Seems both the Mayor and SPD Chief are a tad unclear on who actually sets the budget.

Hint: it's the citizens. And through them, the City Council.

Hence my arguments about negotiating. We hold the cards.

Did you see last night's election results? We're serious.


@40: At the risk of blemishing your reputation with my kudos, that was right on.


You’re all insane. Defunding the Police? That’s the rally cry/objective? You want someone else to pull people over at 1am while speeding on meth? What happens when a “citizen patrol” or whatever the fuck you’re replacing Police with get shot for nothing? Then they demand guns and what’s the fucking difference then?
Defunding SPD 50% wont decrease unarmed citizen deaths by 50% or even 5% but it will dramatically increase the number of rapists who get away with it. If BLM had any balls they would demand legalization of all drugs (except while driving or hurting others) and legalization of prostitution (focusing limited resources on the victims). Those would do more for communities in poverty than anything else.
Seriously defunding Police is only defunding SPD which is a token nothing, then only 50%? Half measure pussyshit and even THAT the Council is backing away from because ya can’t even do that. Hahahahahahahahhaa if I were Socialist I would hate incompetent Sawant



You don't think the City Council HASN'T been thinking about this for the last two and a-half months?

Also, the only thing that would about 911 that would change under a defunding plan is that it would no longer be run by SPD and most of the calls would be responded to by people who aren't LEO's, but rather experts specifically trained for the situation. And given SPD's generally terrible response times (in some cases documented as long as EIGHT HOURS after the initial call), I don't see how it could be any slower than it is already; in fact, one would expect faster responses in many instances, since the responders would naturally give higher priority to incidents that fall within their purview, such as safety checks, mentally-disturbed individuals, domestic disputes, etc., things SPD traditionally hasn't put high on their list.


@48 the problem with this whole effort is outlined in your statement. "experts specifically trained for the situation". How many different types of experts are you going to have? How fast can you hire hire and then train them? What are you even going to train them to do? None of this is thought out at all. As you stated these are specially trained people so you can't put an ad in The Stranger and just immediately hire a bunch of people to do this. Listen to the council's rhetoric. Is there anything about improving lives or outcomes? No, it's about punishing the SPD. I have zero confidence that this council is capable of building an organization to replace SPD that will be any more competent or will actually change anything. Their work on homeless issues and transportation (remember Pronto! bikeshare) speaks for itself.


Professor dear, I know you’re touchy as a tenor, but I’m not seeing much action on police reform on any side. Why don’t you show all us unenlightened types what progress has been made? What has the Council done? What has the Mayor done? What has BLM done?


@24: "A veto proof majority of the city council has decided to honor the will of their voters to cut the SPD budget by 50%."

Is that like the veto-proof majority which enacted the EHT in 2018, or is it more like the veto-proof majority which voted to "Save the Showbox"? Because each of those policies enjoyed far more success than any arbitrary budget cut will have in reforming SPD.


I will correct myself: The council is trying to take some action, but the realities of legislation and budgetary issues is making it difficult - and Sawant is, as usual, using the issue to promote unrealistic (and frankly stupid) proposals. We should go back to a citywide council, if for no other reason that is would get rid of her.

Crosscut lays it out pretty well.