The Patriot Post® · Seattle Defunds Police, Chief Resigns

By Thomas Gallatin ·

The Seattle City Council voted 7-1 Monday to cut some funding to the city’s police department. And lest there be any misunderstanding that the council contains any member who is not an ardent leftist, the lone “no” vote came from council member Kshama Sawant, who insisted that the cut didn’t go far enough.

The new plan cuts the Seattle Police Department’s $400 million budget by $3 million, while also eliminating the Navigation Team and SWAT unit. The plan also cuts the pay of the city’s top police officers, including slashing the salary of Police Chief Carmen Best by a whopping 40%. The irony here is that a city council made up almost entirely of white leftists docked the pay of a black woman in order to advance the Marxist “black lives matter” agenda.

Best declined their “offer,” tendering her resignation and suggesting that the council targeted her specifically because she stood up for her department and against the budget cuts. Two weeks ago, Best sent a letter to the council unequivocally stating, “It is a fact that there are groups and individuals who are intent on destruction in our City. … This weekend we know that several events are planned across the city that will foreseeably involve many of the same violent actors from recent days. There is no reason not to assume we will continue to experience property destruction, arson, looting, and attempts to injure additional officers throughout the weekend and beyond.” The day after Best penned the letter, dozens of her officers were injured in clashes with rioters.

Evidently, since Best’s statement did not comport with the Left’s fallacious narrative of “mostly peaceful protesters” standing against “systemically racist” police departments, council members chose to stick their heads in the sand and virtue signal their anti-police “wokeness.” One wonders if any of them have ever seriously considered the consequences of undercutting the cops’ ability to respond in a timely manner to emergencies or criminal activity should the council members ever find themselves in need of immediate assistance or protection.

Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan, whose tune on the riots changed after her home was targeted, offered a tepid rebuke of the council’s decision: “It is unfortunate [that the] Council has refused to engage in a collaborative process to work with the Mayor, Chief Best, and community members to develop a budget and policies that respond to community needs while accounting for — not just acknowledging — the significant labor and legal implications involved in transforming the Seattle Police Department.”

This is what happens when commitment to a political agenda overrides any consideration of the true reality of a situation. The Democrats’ narrative of “systemic racism” not only prevents them from acting on the truth but from even acknowledging it. Now the people of Seattle — especially those living in neighborhoods already suffering from high crime rates — are doomed to greater suffering at the hands of criminals as police presence will necessarily diminish as a result of this vote.