Seattle reduces police funding, signals deeper cuts ahead
Seattle’s city council on Monday approved a reduction in the budget of the city’s police department of less than 1% after months of protests demanding that it defund the force but signaled deeper cuts might be on the way.
By a vote of 7-1, the council approved a revised 2020 budget that reduced the department’s budget by $3.5 million for the remainder of the year and invested $17 million in community public safety programs.
The cut to the department’s $409-million annual budget fell way short of the 50% demanded by protesters following the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis in police custody on May 25.
Local media said Seattle Police Chief Carmen Best had announced her resignation to staff. According to a report in the New York Times, Best said in a message to the Police Department that she would retire next month and was “confident the department will make it through these difficult times.”
The Seattle Police Department (SPD) did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Council President Lorena González called the cut a “down-payment for future potential reductions” to the department’s budget.
11 August 2020