The Seattle City Council proposed a motion to abolish its police department and to instead “create a civilian led department of community safety & violence prevention.”
The proposal states that the council plans to “remove certain functions from the Seattle Police Department to and provide funding for a community-led process to inform the structure and function of a new department of community safety & violence prevention; requesting modifications to policing practices…”
The reasoning behind this measure, as stated in the proposal, is that the council “recognizes that the nation’s and Seattle’s history of racism and the current impact of institutional racism cause over-policing and underinvestment in communities of color and especially in Black communities.”
The council states that they are “committed to confronting structural and institutional racism as a fundamental step towards addressing the racist institution of policing.”
The council directly notes the death of George Floyd at the hands of police in Minneapolis as a driving force behind their decision-making process.
Police departments in the US and to a lesser extent across the western world have come under fire in the wake of Floyd’s death, and several US cities are toying with the idea of defunding or even abolishing their police forces altogether. Seattle’s City Council, however, has taken this concept to extremes.
The council recommends replacing the Seattle Police Department with: “culturally-relevant expertise rooted in community connections, “housing, food security, and other basic needs,” and “trauma-informed, gender-affirming, anti-racist praxis.”
The standards of living for even poor Americans have gone way up in recent decades. Economic disparity between whites and non-whites is also at an all-time low, and many in the crusade to defund police consider it to be statistically insignificant.
The resolution calls for the ceding of property rights as well, with the “immediate transfer of underutilized public land for BIPOC community ownership.”
Seattle City Council has also voted to close the county jail as well as juvenile detention facilities.
Homelessness, crime and other social ills are growing exponentially in Seattle, and people are moving out of the city at a rate never before seen.