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.”