The Seattle City Council Monday night approved cuts to partially defund the police department over objections of the mayor, police chief and Seattle Police Officers' Guild.
The council passed the cuts in a 7-1 vote, with the lone dissenter, Councilmember Kshama Sawant, saying the cuts didn't go far enough, MyNorthwest.com reported. Councilmember Debora Juarez was not present at the meeting and abstained.
The plan does not cut the department's funding by the 50% originally planned, and will only initially see 100 of the department's 1,400 officers reduced, Fox News reported.
But the plan is to continue the cuts in the 2021 budget to get closer to the goal, the council said.
"Instead of buying bullets, violence and intimidation, we are choosing — the city council is choosing — to invest in peace and restoration in a community that has been ravaged by generations of racism," Council President Lorena Gonzales said.
The city is under a 2012 federal consent decree for excessive use of police force, but move comes amid nationwide calls for police departments to be defunded and the monies moved to other forms of community outreach in the aftermath of the killing of George Floyd, a Black man, by a white police officer in Minneapolis in May.
Besides the mayor, police chief and police union, several pro-police groups in the city also urged the council not to take the action. Many cities where calls to defund police have been made have seen recent spikes in violence, including Portland, Oregon, Chicago and New York City.
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