Seattle lawmakers want to abolish the city’s police force and replace it with a “community-led” safety prevention program, according to proposed legislation released Friday.
Arguing that the Seattle Police Department “perpetuates racism and violence” and upholds “white supremacy culture,” the Seattle City Council moved to redirect cash to a non-profit, civilian-led “Department of Community Safety & Violence Prevention” — and offered a “blueprint” on how to defund the police, according to the resolution.
Under the bill, cops would be replaced by “community-led activities” and organizations focused on “housing, food security, and other basic needs” along with “culturally-relevant expertise rooted in community connections,” according to documents posted by Christopher Rufo, Director of Discovery Institute’s Center on Wealth & Poverty.
To gain police department funding, groups must show they are “well-versed in de-escalation skills” along with “trauma-informed, gender-affirming, anti-racist praxis” and are “committed to hiring staff from the communities they serve,” according to the proposal.
The legislation cites protests over the police “murder” of George Floyd, which forced the Seattle to examine its own history of police brutality.
“These protests forced many nationwide and in Seattle to confront the racism that has been plaguing the black community… And the SPD’s role in perpetuating racism and violence.”
It wasn’t immediately clear when the bill would go to vote—but the majority of city council members said earlier this month that they agree with a plan to defund the city’s police department.
Seattle became an international focal point last month after hundreds of protesters took over the city’s Capitol Hill Organized Protest zone, which was stormed and cleared by police in early July.
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