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Confusion Over Police Reform Law Continues as Recent Response Call in Kent Shows

KENT, Wash. — Confusion over the new statewide police reform laws has prompted urgent meetings between state lawmakers, police chiefs and sheriffs, including one set for Wednesday evening in King County.

Police in Kent recently had a situation with a suicidal man who ended up taking his own life.

Some of the officers thought they couldn’t respond physically to the address in case he shot himself because of the new laws.

On the officers’ bodycam video, one officer could be heard saying, “A shame they put new laws in place. We could have helped him.”

But Kent Police Chief Rafael Padilla says it wasn’t because of the new laws.

“Our response before the new laws came out July 25 (was) we would not have gone up to the front door and knocked on it,” he said. “So, I want to make it clear the new laws weren’t a direct result of us not responding.

“So, what I think you were seeing there were some raw emotions of officers had literally just went in there and we’re doing lifesaving CPR,” Padilla said. “What I think what you saw was a moment of frustration, not specific to just that situation, but the overall feeling in law enforcement right now where they’re not sure they are really going to be supported for doing the things that they think they should do to protect the community that’s what I think you saw on that.”

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Three Shootings in One Day Highlight Seattle’s Gun Violence Problem

SEATTLE — Seattle’s gun violence surge continues to grow with three shootings in one day.
A 20-year-old man was shot in Pioneer Square Tuesday night.

In GreenLake, a woman was robbed and shot in broad daylight hours earlier.

The shootings happened just hours after the city’s interim police chief spoke out about the alarming spike in violence.

Before that, Seattle Police said a man shot and killed another man who tried to rob him on Capitol Hill early Tuesday morning.

In broad daylight, in the middle of a quiet Greenlake neighborhood full of children—police say a 58-year-old woman was robbed at gunpoint and shot in the stomach on the sidewalk along 65th street.
Some neighbors heard the shots and others ran to help her as she cried out.

“I was shocked it happened you know ten feet away from my house,” said concerned neighbor Kyle Duggan.

“It feels like gun violence is kind of just getting worse and worse and it’s spooky because there’s a school right down the street, there’s an elementary school a block away and that’s really scary,” said concerned neighbor Sarah Gilwit.

The shooter got away.

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The Assault on Seattle’s Police

A federal monitor lists the damage from the progressive purge.

SEATTLE – Across urban America the evidence is piling up that when you demonize police and cut their budget, you get more crime. The latest example is Seattle, where slashing the police budget has imperiled reform and endangered poor and minority communities.

Federal Judge James Robart oversees a longstanding police-reform consent decree between the Department of Justice and city of Seattle. Last week his court released video footage of a hearing this month in which monitor Antonio Oftelie lists Seattle’s political impediments to protecting public safety.

The City Council cut the 2021 police budget by nearly $35.6 million, or about 9%, compared to 2019. Councilor Kshama Sawant claimed “the role of the police under capitalism” is “to defend the system’s deep inequality through ongoing repression of the poor, the marginalized, and communities of color.” Other councilors signed a pledge to address “the on-going assault on Black lives perpetuated by a well-funded police state that acts with near impunity.”

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