U.S.A. –-(AmmoLand.com)- Barely 24 hours after the Department of Justice declared Seattle to be a jurisdiction that has “permitted violence and destruction of property to persist,” the far-left Seattle City Council made it official by overriding an earlier budget veto by Mayor Jenny Durkan by cutting the Police Department budget.
According to KOMO News—the local ABC affiliate—the 7-2 council vote will result in cutting the department staff by “roughly 100 officers,” elimination of the department’s Navigation Team, which serves as “an outreach effort to the homeless,” and cutting salaries of the department’s command staff.
This comes three weeks after embattled Police Chief Carmen Best retired after 29 years on the force, rising through the ranks to the top cop position.
The council had likely already decided to make the cuts, but went through the motions of allowing the public to comment. In response, a radical left group called Seattle Indivisible, wants its members to call the council and thank members for their votes.
Seattle has been one of three cities—the others being Portland, Oregon and New York City—where often violent and destructive protests have been occurring over the summer in reaction to the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis while being restrained by police there.
How this plays out is up to speculation, but back on July 16, the Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms, which coincidentally is headquartered in nearby Bellevue, advised Seattle residents to “prepare for the worst, and as part of that effort they should buy a gun if that’s their choice, and demand that both the Seattle Police Department and King County Sheriff’s Office resume taking applications for concealed pistol licenses.”
CCRKBA Chairman Alan Gottlieb said in a prepared statement, “While the city council may believe crippling its police department is a politically smart move, it’s going to directly impact public safety. Nobody should be surprised when more people buy guns and apply for carry licenses.”
The only drawback to that currently is that the Seattle Police Department and King County Sheriff’s Department have not been accepting new applications for concealed pistol licenses since mid-March.
“Seattleites saw what happens when there is limited police response by watching what occurred in the so-called ‘CHOP’ zone in the city’s Capitol Hill neighborhood,” Gottlieb noted at the time. “Two teens were murdered, four other people were injured in shootings, and no amount of fluff reporting and official denial could conceal the anarchy.”
According to the Seattle P-I.com, the department budget cuts come to $3 million. While it may or may not be largely symbolic, critics contend it is the wrong symbol for the city to be displaying. Yet far-left Council President Lorena Gonzalez remarked during the meeting, “When I look back in this moment in time, I want to be able to tell my daughter, who I am currently holding in my arms, that I did the right thing, that I voted on the right side of history.”
Her colleague, Councilwoman Tammy Morales, began her comments by reading names of people killed by Seattle Police Officers over the past 10 years, the Seattle P-I.com said.
“It’s not just about breaking the cycle of police violence,” Morales was quoted as stating, “it's not just about fixing the budget, it’s about creating a new system of community safety that centers mental wellness, prosperity and safety for all of our community members.”
According to a Justice Department announcement, Seattle’s problems include:
- For nearly a month, starting in June, the City of Seattle permitted anarchists and activists to seize six square blocks of the city’s Capitol Hill neighborhood, naming their new enclave the “Capitol Hill Autonomous Zone” (CHAZ) and then the “Capitol Hill Occupied Protest” (CHOP).
- Law enforcement and fire fighters were precluded from entering the territory. The Seattle Police Department was ordered to abandon their precinct within the CHOP.
- Person-related crime in the CHOP increased 525% from the same period of time in the same area the year before, including by Mayor Durkan’s own count “two additional homicides, 6 additional robberies, and 16 additional aggravated assaults (to include 2 additional non-fatal shootings).”
- The CHOP was allowed to stand for nearly a month, during which time two teenagers were shot and killed in the zone.
- The Seattle City Council, Mayor Durkan, and Washington Governor Jay Inslee publicly rejected federal involvement in law enforcement activities within the city of Seattle.
Business have been closing up and leaving. The most recent high-profile departure was Hardwick & Sons hardware, a fixture for the past 88 years in Seattle’s University District. The business is moving to Idaho.
According to MyNorthwest.com, proprietor Dean Hardwick explained during an on-air conversation with KIRO radio personality Dori Monson, “It’s not a safe place for the next generation to bring up families. Not at all. We’ve been broken into five times this year, and usually the average of some pinhead trying to break in here has been about once every decade, … so they got away with a bunch of power tools, once with a cash register. You just never know. You gotta have your cell phone by your bed because you don’t know if you’re going to get a call from the alarm company or not.”
Seattle may be providing a glimpse of metropolitan decay that seems to be spreading in several major cities, all controlled by liberal governments.
Right now in King County, which encompasses Seattle, there were more than 100,000 active CPLs, and while that number may have declined slightly due to the SPD suspension of its license application process—a move that is under scrutiny by the Second Amendment Foundation—it translates to a lot of citizens, many living in or working in the city, taking the step to protect themselves.
According to SPD data, homicides have been climbing in the city for the past few years. In 2016, the city posted 19 homicides, and in 2017 the number spiked to 27. The following year saw 32 murders, last year there were 28 slayings but already this year there have been 29 killings, and there are still three full months to go.
Granted, for a city of its size, Seattle has a remarkably low number of murders, but the upward trend is raising eyebrows.
The council’s move to slash the police budget and manpower will likely raise some blood pressure readings as well. And now that the Justice Department has identified Seattle as being in a state of anarchy, tensions—and probably gun ownership—are likely to increase.
About Dave Workman