Seattle’s city council is set to vote Tuesday to decide the future of planned cuts to the police budget that would see at least 100 cops’ jobs slashed.
The council had approved drastic cuts in August amid mounting national protests to defund the police — just for Mayor Jenny Durkan to veto the bills, saying they offered no plans to “bridge gaps in police response.”
The nine-member council is set to vote on Durkan’s vetoes, and could override her decision and keep with the original budget cuts approved by seven of them last month, the Seattle Times said.
However, it appeared the vote would likely support the mayor’s veto, the paper said.
Council President M. Lorena González — who wants to keep the initial budget cuts — has already unveiled a substitute budget proposal in case the mayor’s vetoes are sustained.
The new bill no longer seeks to cut at least 100 cops’ jobs, nor reduce the salaries of top department brass, both of which were cited by Carmen Best, the city’s first black police chief, as reasons for her resignation. Instead, there would be a review of police staffing levels and pay, and far less money would be diverted to community groups, the Seattle paper said.
If backed, Durkan’s vetoes would be a major departure from the defunding aim that seven council members first adopted in July.
That was called “unacceptable” and claimed to be “anti-black” in a joint statement by King County Equity Now and Decriminalize Seattle, two groups pushing to defund the police.
“This new bill represents an utter capitulation to the mayor, who has shamelessly not moved from her anti-black, pro-police position,” the groups said.
With Post wires
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