Please read the article below. Do you think the police should be de-funded? What would be the consequences of such a move? Would this prevent unethical conduct in the future?
By Kate Feldman,
New York Daily News
SEATTLE — A proposal that would slash the Seattle Police Department’s budget by 50% would result in mass layoffs of non-white officers, the department argued.
Police Chief Carmen Best said Friday in a letter to Mayor Jenny Durkin that the proposal would be “catastrophic” to her department.
Seattle Police Chief Carmen Best speaks at a prayer vigil Monday, June 1, 2020 in Seattle following a weekend of George Floyd protests. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)
“These 2020 cut scenarios by the Council are political gestures, however, not realistic or rational solutions,” she wrote.
“SPD is absolutely committed to transforming the department and has already started the process. But if we are asked to cut 50% of our department overnight, we will be forced into decisions that do not serve our shared long-term goal of re-envisioning community safety.”
Online, the department claimed it had “made a conscious effort to hire employees, both sworn and civilian, who represent the diversity and values within our community.”
To meet the proposed budget cut, 90% of mixed race officers would be laid off, 65% of Hispanic officers, 47% of Asian officers and 43% of black officers. About 53% of white officers would also be cut.
“Cuts this deep mean we would lose more than 50% of our (black, indigenous, people of color) officers,” the department said. “These officers’ life experiences make us a better department and community.”
The makeup of the force is unclear, but the department bragged in February that 39 out of 108 newly hired officers in 2019 were non-white. It’s also unclear if the proposed staffing cuts are proportional to the racial makeup.
Best also claimed that she would have to close the Southwest Precinct, “significantly cut or eliminate” bike units, foot beats, community policing teams and the anti-crime team Bike Units, Foot Beats, Community Policing Teams, and Anti-Crime Team and cut funding to units that investigate homicide, violent crime, sexual assault, domestic violence and and narcotics.
The budget has not yet been approved, but at least seven members of the Seattle City Council have publicly pledged their support to the 50% cut for the police department.
The mayor is not among them.
Decriminalize Seattle and King County Equity Now have called the proposed cut in order to force the community to “imagine life beyond policing,” and investing in affordable housing.
The aim is “defunding the Seattle Police Department and building a world where we trust and believe in community to provide the safety that we need,” Decriminalize Seattle’s Jackie Vaughn said during a livestreamed press conference Thursday.
The Seattle Police Department’s 2020 budget sits around $409 million.
©2020 New York Daily News
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The post must be written in correct academic format (Check for spelling and grammatical errors prior to submitting) 5 points
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