Seattle’s city council is considering abolishing the police department for good, replacing it with a “community-led” safety prevention program despite rising crime taking place across the United States, according to internal documents obtained by Christopher Rufo.
The rationale behind this move is that Seattle police officers, according to some members of the City Council, “perpetuate racism and violence” and uphold “white supremacy culture.”
Moves to defund or significantly adjust police forces away from core duties is already have a knock-down effect across the country. For example, after Mayor Bill de Blasio removed over 600 undercover anti-crime officers following Black Lives Matter protests, shootings have surged 120 percent this year.
Even the surge in anti-police rhetoric is being tied to rising crime across the country, with talks of “abolishing” the police the most radical form of this rhetoric.
The Seattle City Council proposes to provide financial support to the civilian-led non-profit Department of Community Safety & Violence Prevention.
According to the proposal, police officers would be replaced by “community-led activities” and organizations focused on “housing, food security, and other basic needs” as well as “culturally-relevant expertise.” The draft was posted on the website of Christopher Rufo, Director of Discovery Institute’s Center on Wealth & Poverty.
The condition for gaining funding is that applicants are “well-versed in de-escalation skills” along with “trauma-informed, gender-affirming, anti-racist praxis.”
It is not entirely clear when the proposal will be submitted for voting, but according to media in the U.S., most city legislators have already promised their support. However, attempts to defund the police by 50 percent in Seattle have already run into roadblocks.
Seattle has already had an experience without police when the CHAZ/CHOP autonomous zone in Capitol Hill in Seattle began out of response to George Floyd protests. After police withdrew from the area, crime quickly rose and three individuals were shot and killed, including two black male teenagers. Although city government officials initially lent their support to the autonomous zone, rising crime led them to close it down and ask protesters to disband.
Now, Seattle may be implementing a city-wide abolishment of police that may serious repercussions for the citizens of the city for years to come.