The push to recall Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan can proceed, a King County Superior Court judge ruled Friday.
The recall, dubbed “Fire the Mayor” by organizers, comes after weeks of violence in the city following the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis. Critics are upset with Durkan’s handling of an armed occupation of a six-block radius of the city’s Capitol Hill neighborhood, which was disbanded earlier this month.
The protesters demanded the city’s police department be defunded by at least 50 percent.
“Mayor Durkan’s complete negligence in protecting the rights and safety of the people of Seattle has made a clear case that she is no longer fit to govern,” the recall petition states.
Stephanie Formas, Durkan’s chief of staff, told the newspaper the mayor “consistently has acted to protect the City’s public health and safety and to respect the constitutional rights to peaceful protesters.”
Before sending in local police to break up the Capitol Hill Autonomous Zone, Durkan’s office criticized demonstrators, and a member of the City Council for putting her life in jeopardy when they gathered outside her home.
“Mayor Durkan and her family are in the state program to keep their address confidential because of the death threats mostly related to her work as Seattle’s U.S. Attorney under President Obama,” a statement from the mayor’s office read. “Instead of working to make true change, Councilmember Sawant continues to choose political stunts. Tonight she did so without regard for the safety of the Mayor and her family. The Mayor was not even home — she was working at City Hall. Seattle can and should peacefully demonstrate but should not put families and children at risk.”
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