Seattle residents slam plan to defund police force by up to half – Daily Mail

seattle-residents-slam-plan-to-defund-police-force-by-up-to-half-–-daily-mail

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Seattle residents slam the city's plan to cut the police budget by HALF as a 'radical experiment that will hurt the vulnerable' during heated council meeting after weeks of violent protests and vandalism'Defunding the police is a radical experiment that will hurt the vulnerable,' one woman claimed in Wednesday's council meetingThe caller asked: 'Why are you cutting protection for everyone else?' and said the city should be 'protecting your own'  The plans would reduce police funding by $85million until the end of 2020 But residents have said the cuts would do more harm to vulnerable communities Seattle has been hit by violence and protests since George Floyd's death Earlier this month, cops cleared out the Capitol Hill Autonomous Zone (CHOP)  By Leah Simpson For Dailymail.com Published: 09: 49 EST, 30 July 2020 | Updated: 10: 15 EST, 30 July 2020 Seattle residents have said calls to half the police budget are 'radical' and 'irresponsible' after violence and vandalism spread throughout the city during protests.Around 300 people who phoned in to a city council meeting on Wednesday night said the redistribution of around $85million in funds will 'hurt the vulnerable'. 'Defunding the police is a radical experiment that will hurt the vulnerable,' one woman claimed. 'Why are you defunding the police when many of you have called on the SPD for protection recently? We know you have. Why are you cutting protection for everyone else?' Seattle residents have said calls to half the police budget are 'radical' and 'irresponsible' after violence and vandalism spread throughout the city during protests  Protesters confront police at the former location of the Capitol Hill Organized Protest (CHOP) after a Youth Day of Action and Solidarity with Portland demonstration in Seattle, WashingtonThe council is reviewing budgets all-round in order to account for the coronavirus pandemic which has closed schools and resulted in high unemployment.After the blow to the economy due to the outbreak, requests for the redirection of taxpayer funds away from the police department specifically have come to the forefront amid continuing unrest over police brutality.Seattle officers have been seen clashing with protesters and other civilians.Images show a volunteer nurse being blasted as she helps someone at Seattle Central College protesting against police brutality.Federal law enforcement, sent to protect federal building from damage, are said to have left the city this week after complaints they were only antagonizing the situation.The city asked for them to leave and said its own force could take care of any unrest.Earlier in the month, police cleared out the Capitol Hill Autonomous Zone (CHOP) which was occupied by locals in protest.  July 25: A nurse was pepper-sprayed by cops in Seattle while providing support to protesters July 25: Omari Salisbury, center, livestreams police and protest activity, during a Black Lives Matter protest near the Seattle Police East Precinct headquartersThe caller on Wednesday said the city should be 'protecting your own'. 'Why are you cutting protection for everyone else?' the caller asked. 'Why have you not denounced violence or arson by rioters or injuries to SPD officers? Your own employees. That is unconscionable.'You should be protecting your own employees when they are injured on the job by violent attackers.'Another caller said: 'Seattle City Council, you are irresponsibly not fully representing your constituents by making the reckless decision of defunding our police department by 50 percent.'On the other hand 90 percent of the callers during the three-and-a-half-hour were in support of taking money out of the Seattle Police Department for the rest of the year.Some callers said the city police have shown in recent weeks their priority is not to protect the community and maintained that the distribution be reviewed.The new budget plan for the rest of the year to address a $378million shortfall and a vote would take place on August 10. It would reduce the department's funding by $85million until the end of 2020. The proposed budget for 2021 is over $400million.The decision had been delayed in order to hear from the public.  July 1: The city recently asked for federal agents to leave and said its own force could take care of any unrest. Seattle police enter the East Precinct in Seattle after clearing out the CHOP zone The Seattle Police Officers Guild said it has collected more than 20,000 signatures for a Stop Defunding petition. Seattle police union leader Michael Solan (right) spoke to Fox News earlier on Wednesday opposing the idea of using funds intended for patrolling, overtime and more'Nothing less than defunding will begin to heal the violence committed by police against Seattle's Black, Brown and Indigenous communities,' one resident told the meeting.The Seattle Police Officers Guild said it has collected more than 20,000 signatures for a Stop Defunding petition.Seattle police union leader Michael Solan told Fox News earlier on Wednesday that the cut would mean decreasing the force by 100 cops.It's also expected to take away from training, overtime pay and patrolling.A caller said that would be a good thing.'He's right, let's fire the officers who think it's okay to tear gas citizens of their own city and instead give money to communities who have been suffering at the hands of police for decades,' the resident said.A different caller told the meeting: 'If the budget is not cut by $85 million, if you think what you've seen is bad, it'll only get worse.'Another said: 'SPD is already understaffed and with the city growing rapidly, calls for service are increasing. I do not want less officers, I want more officers who are able to respond to priority calls in seven minutes or less. We don't live in Utopia.'
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