VIDEO: Councilmembers discuss police-budget plan, tell mayor ‘walk alongside us, or step out of the way’

10:08 AM: At City Hall right now, three city councilmembers, including West Seattle/South Park’s Lisa Herbold, are holding a news conference explaining the police-budget plan. The council’s president, Lorena González, is speaking first. “We as a council are unified” and want to talk with the mayor and chief, she says, adding that she’s sent a letter offering chances to meet with them.

10:15 AM: Herbold speaks now. “Reimagining” does in fact begin with ideas that “may not at first seem realistic,” she contends. She talks about the importance of activists’ and advocates’ involvement. The goal is to “reduce the footprint of armed police officers'” response to calls, she says, noting that 56 percent of 911 calls are of types that could be handled in other ways. She and González both renewed their call for SPD to cut positions “out of order” rather than the standard “last hired, first fired.”

10:21 AM: Councilmember Tammy Morales, saying her district is home to people who are “overpoliced,” is speaking now. “The mayor and police chief have sought to undermine our credibility,” she declares. Like the other two, she also emphasizes that the public-safety reinvention is part of something going on nationwide – a “racial reckoning … (which) is here and we can’t let it slip away without dramatic, impactful change, even if it makes us uncomfortable. … This council is working hard to restructure community safety … We invite the mayor to walk alongside us, or step out of the way.”

10:31 AM: They’re in Q&A now. One question involves what will be done about homelessness response with the plan to eliminate the Navigation Team. Organizations that are already working in social services will do the work – with increased outreach – they reply, while adding that other programs such as other departments’ trash collection will not be affected.”The Navigation Team … has a dismal success rate … in comparison to our third-party providers,” González says.

11:17 AM: The briefing has ended. We’ll substitute the archived video above when it’s available.

12:27 PM: You can now see that video above or here. Meantime, SPD has announced that it “will be launching a Re-envisioning Public Safety website, outlining what SPD is doing to engage the community and working toward change,” with a media event at 2:30 this afternoon.

66 Replies to "VIDEO: Councilmembers discuss police-budget plan, tell mayor 'walk alongside us, or step out of the way'"

  • Sam August 6, 2020 (10:43 am)

    Gallup poll indicates that a large majority of both black and white people do not want reductions in police. This is a fringe movement that the city council is promoting:

    • Zark00 August 6, 2020 (11:54 am)

      Same Gallup poll – 18% of black Americans feel ‘confident’ that police will treat them with respect vs 56% of white Americans. Also, the poll did not ask about a reduction in police it asked about abolishing the police. Very very different question. Als Gallup, 58% of Americans say policing needs to undergo “major changes” vs 6% who say it should stay as is. This is not even remotely close to a fringe movement, it’s actually a majority of Americans. 

      • Sam August 6, 2020 (12:40 pm)

        “61 percent of Black Americans said they’d like police to spend the same amount of time in their community, while 20 percent answered they’d like to see more police, totaling 81 percent. “

    • Jon Wright August 6, 2020 (12:10 pm)

      Relying upon national polls is a lazy way to set local policy. Maybe the movement to restructure policing is a “fringe movement” in Nebraska, but it sure seems to be more than that here.

      • John W August 6, 2020 (1:09 pm)

        Who cares about polls? Polls are defined by their authors and the questions posed. Local policy has usually and historically been carried out through our established system of  government.  This different.  It is acting out of hysteria, adopting radical unproven  policies without supporting facts or data.“Reimagining” does in fact begin with ideas that “may not at first seem realistic,” Herbold says.  That is an honest assessment with scant hope of change.  Herbold reliance on “activists and advocates”  is a radical departure from Democracy, bypassing its voting constituents.  Morales  actually admits  that this is a “public-safety reinvention.”   Incredibly no one has ever thought to eliminate crime enforcement to eliminate crime (kind of like our President not wanting COVID tests so that there is no  COVID. This unified city council needs to be voted out, or better yet, recalled to fulfill our responsibilities as citiziens.

        • Lagartija Nick August 6, 2020 (6:22 pm)

          Are you seriously suggesting that “activists and advocates” aren’t voting constituents and thus should be ignored? How nice that you want to disenfranchise your neighbors, cause that’s who these activists and advocates are, your neighbors.

    • Lispector August 6, 2020 (12:22 pm)

      Ha, that poll is nationwide. Over half the people polled in Seattle support defunding. You don’t have the support you claim. #defundSPD #blacklivesmatter

      • Dr. No August 6, 2020 (2:18 pm)

        Well, if it makes you feel better to say more are in support that not, go ahead. Just put it to a vote and then we’ll see. Otherwise this whole ‘polls say this and that’ means nothing. It’s the equivalent of my dad can beat up your dad. 

  • Anonymous Coward August 6, 2020 (10:45 am)

    Regarding the footprint of armed officers: The careful reader will note that George Floyd, Eric Garner, and Manuel Ellis did not die as a result of a use of arms…

    • Jenny August 6, 2020 (11:51 am)

      But many more did, whats your point? Breonna Taylor, Atatiana Jefferson, Aura Rosser, Stephon Clark, Botham Jean, Philando Castille, Alton Sterling, Michelle Cusseaux, Janisha Fonville, Akai Gurley, Tamir Rice, Michael Brown… should I go on?

    • tsurly August 6, 2020 (11:54 am)

      Nice red herring. They were still killed by someone who was armed.

    • Zark00 August 6, 2020 (11:56 am)

      Officers approached Floyd with guns drawn, all of them, what was your point? 

      • Anonymous Coward August 6, 2020 (1:29 pm)

        Two, actually: whether or not city representatives are not carrying firearms doesn’t necessarily mean that said representatives won’t kill people of color.  If the problem is “too many people from marginalized people are killed by armed cops”, I’m not convinced that we will have solved anything if we reduce the “footprint” of armed officers. Similarly, if a member of some-other-city-department responds to, say, a person in crisis call and the situation escalates into a physical encounter, who investigates whether or not the force was justified?  The department paying the employee’s salary?  SPD?

  • onion August 6, 2020 (10:53 am)

    The council is forcing their will on the city. They have very little time to show results or we will toss them from office.

    • Matt P August 6, 2020 (1:22 pm)

      That is how a representative democracy works.

      • WTF August 6, 2020 (11:01 pm)

        It is not. But, ok

  • Anne August 6, 2020 (10:55 am)

    10:21 AM: Councilmember Tammy Morales, saying her district is home to people who are “overpoliced,” is speaking now. “The mayor and police chief have sought to undermine our credibility,” she declares. Like the other two, she also emphasizes that the public-safety reinvention is part of something going on nationwide – a “racial reckoning … (which) is here and we can’t let it slip away without dramatic, impactful change, even if it makes us uncomfortable. … This council is working hard to restructure community safety … We invite the mayor to walk alongside us, or step out of the way.”What a dismissive. Disrespectful statement.Ms.Morales-& City Council have undermined themselves. I suggest if Ms.Morales’district is “over policed “ SPD withdraws all officers from her district – assign them elsewhere.As to Ms.Herbolds statement that SPD will be able topick & choose which officers to let go-that last hired-first fired wont apply-thinking SPD Union Contract might have something to say about that. Folks if you’re ok with all this -that’s your right-which I respect-but vehemently disagree with-especially in the proposed iterations.If you don’t agree with all this PLEASE let your voices be heard. 

  • Neighbor August 6, 2020 (10:58 am)

    If other districts feel that they are over-policed, could they immediately reassign those officers to West Seattle? The council can keep doing their thing (as they will anyway), but it seems like this could be a short term fix for over-policed and under-policed areas.

    • 1994 August 6, 2020 (9:42 pm)

      Yeah – reallocate where the police are working, if Ms Morales area is over policed then send them to Alki – for the night shift. No over time needed or special extra pay, a reassignment to meet the needs of the public. 

  • Barb August 6, 2020 (11:12 am)

    I have not been asked for my input. I have written letters with no responses. SO DARN FRUSTRATING!!!!!!!Just imagine being told your salary was being cut???? 

    • Matt August 6, 2020 (9:08 pm)

      Imagine being terrible at your job, at times negligent, and receiving zero discipline. 

  • AlkiMom August 6, 2020 (11:15 am)

    If some areas feel over-policed please feel free to reassign those officers to the sh^tshow that has become Alki Beach and the Park near Alki Elementary.  Since COVID in particular we have seen a major uptick in petty crime, fights, and now several shootings. The ongoing partying throughout the night that seem to lead to conflicts (not even mentioning the noise issues, illegal beach fires and the blatant  disregard for COVID safety guidelines) is just unacceptable.  My family feel we need to be inside with doors closed in our bunker well before sundown to avoid conflicts and strife that often escalate to violence.  This is disappointing when evenings are long and we are all stuck indoors during much of the day already.  The issues begin in the afternoon and ramp up as the hours growing later. It is unacceptable to the point that residents are talking about hiring their own security force as some communities do in other city’s such as Southern California. 

    • Bill August 6, 2020 (3:45 pm)

      Don’t 3 or 4 members of the council live in WS?  

      • WSB August 6, 2020 (3:57 pm)

        Three – Lisa Herbold, Lorena González, Teresa Mosqueda.

  • Schmitz Park parent August 6, 2020 (11:25 am)

    So when the outreach teams go into the homeless camps will they go entirely without police escorts?   I am conflicted about that.     I can see the argument for it, but I do also worry about the safety of the social workers etc going into that situation.

    • WSB August 6, 2020 (12:24 pm)

      When asked about that, the reply was that this doesn’t preclude all police involvement in potential camp removal.

  • Colonel Mustard's Wrench August 6, 2020 (11:25 am)

    How many more days are we stuck with Lisa Herbold as our Council Member ?  Is there a mechanism to remove her ?  The obnoxious bullying fringe is derailing our democracy.  Out with Herbold !

  • A. August 6, 2020 (11:30 am)

    What a complete pile of garbage. Every Seattle voter needs to remember that less than a year ago, every single one of your council members were advocating for more police officers. EVERY. ONE. OF. THEM. 

    • Jon Wright August 6, 2020 (1:59 pm)

      And a year ago, the citizens of Seattle probably agreed. In response to George Floyd’s murder, attitudes have changed. I don’t consider it “garbage” that council members would respond to those changes.

    • 1994 August 6, 2020 (9:44 pm)

      And the city even offered a signing bonus for hiring new officers! 

  • sna August 6, 2020 (11:59 am)

    Less than 6 months ago, Herbold and others were saying we needed more officers.  I haven’t seen any substantial analysis that would justify such a significant shift in thinking other than the councils collective fear of the far left activists.  

    • Lispector August 6, 2020 (12:25 pm)

      That effort was made in order to increase diversity in the police force, and hire officers that actually live in Seattle instead of the suburbs. The new effort to reduce won’t negate this work because they won’t be using the “last hired first fired” tactic. 

      • Bradley August 6, 2020 (2:02 pm)

        There is a Union contract in place that might disagree. The council is Union friendly and supported I believe.  Could be one of those bogus checks they can’t cash. 

        • Lagartija Nick August 6, 2020 (6:14 pm)

          SPOG is and has always been the major impediment to any meaningful reform at SPD.

      • CH August 6, 2020 (2:30 pm)

        That’s not the way I read Herbold’s tweet.  Sounds to me like the effort was to hire more officers while increasing diversity, and that seems like a win-win to me.  Oh, and I hope they do try to fire officers “out of order” based on race… that should help slow things down.  

    • D Del Rio August 6, 2020 (2:01 pm)

      I don’t know why everyone is complaining about Lisa Herbold now. I saw the writing on the wall and did not vote for her.  Another thing is that I know more people who did not vote compared to those who did, and I am not even counting those who are not even registered. The vast majority of people in this city do not vote, and this is what we get. I have a home in Kirkland that I can always escape to if Seattle gets any worse than it is. I only feel sorry for those who tried to make a change when we had the opportunity to vote these council members out. 

  • WhatAreWePayingFor August 6, 2020 (12:08 pm)

    While we are defunding city spending during this time of tax base erosion due to COVID and socialist activists, maybe it’s time to look at reducing the council to 7 members and review their staff members and salaries.  They are doing nothing helpful for taxpaying citizens . . . actually they are a dangerous detriment.

  • Alf August 6, 2020 (12:15 pm)

    Walk beside us or get out of the way?arrogant statement Has a different perspective and clearly this CC does not want to hear different ideas to achieve a similar outcome they are feeding into Trump and I find their left wing non collaborative approach as disgustingly as the Trump supporters 

    • Lispector August 6, 2020 (12:27 pm)

      It’s literally their job. The Seattle City Council establishes City policy through enactment of ordinances (laws) and adoption of resolutions. The City Council also approves and adopts the City’s budget. The nine Council members and their legislative assistants are part of the City of Seattle Legislative Department.

      • WS Resident August 7, 2020 (1:18 am)

        It’s not their job to be dismissive and rude to other elected officials.

  • Mj August 6, 2020 (12:45 pm)

    It’s not the activists that created the CHOP zone being sued by the parents of one of people killed in the zone, it’s the City.  Radical changes without properly vetting the impact is not the correct path forward.  

  • Rockatansky August 6, 2020 (12:56 pm)

      This issue is too important. Some of these ideas are great but there’s a flip side to this. To those who can afford it private security firms are a real possibility. This isn’t about not wanting to feeling “uncomfortable” some of it is just foolhardy. Lisa Herbold and the rest of city council need to put this to the vote of the people of Seattle.  The city council has lost creditibliy

    • The King August 6, 2020 (5:25 pm)

      Some folks can’t even afford a home security system, but they more than likely can afford a 12 gauge shotgun at around $400 with tax. Gun sales are through the roof in Washington state. You see where this is going. There’s going to be a lot of home invaders getting shot. 

  • Heartless? August 6, 2020 (1:01 pm)

     Curious to see the turnout for this Sunday’s “Defend the Police” march.  It may open some eyes.

    • Tsurly August 6, 2020 (3:33 pm)

      Or it will be a big flop, just like a Trump rally or inauguration.

    • WS Resident August 7, 2020 (1:19 am)

      I plan to be there with my kids

      • Stop the spread of the virus August 7, 2020 (3:34 pm)

        Stay at home and help stop 🛑 the spread of the virus 🦠, you might save a person life in doing so.

  • West Seattle Hipster August 6, 2020 (1:02 pm)

    The council’s tactics are very similar’s to Trump’s (you are either with us or against us). With their divisive approach, they will continue to rip our city apart.    

    • Lagartija Nick August 6, 2020 (6:11 pm)

      Jenny Durkan and Chief Best’s tactics are very similar to Trump’s (you will defend the police or we’ll take away your precinct). Their divisive rhetoric will rip this city apart. There, I fixed it for you.

  • zark00 August 6, 2020 (1:08 pm)

    Very telling that the commenters her who do not support police reform also do not know what over-policing means.  They actually think communities experiencing over-policing are complaining about too many police there helping them out too much.   Embarrassing.

    • WS Resident August 7, 2020 (1:20 am)

      I think your oversimplifying what they’re saying in these comments. Over policing as a result of having too many police spend too much time pulling over people that maybe they shouldn’t. Pull the extra police out focus if you were placed on the highest priority calls and we can refocus those police in our community here in West Seattle. I don’t think it takes a genius to understand what over policing means.

  • Ralph August 6, 2020 (1:14 pm)

    I was an enthusiastic Lisa voter in November; honestly, I’m shocked to regret that decision so soon. Just a sampling: her missteps as the Chair of Public Safety & Human Services re: Chaz/CHOP; her supporting a Seattle-only payroll tax; her apparent unwillingness to address constituents’ defunding concerns. I’m not a fan of Durkan, but the open hostility displayed toward her is a bit much. She made the biggest deal about reducing noise along Alki; of course that’s for naught. It saddens me the next council candidate I vote for will likely be in Amazon’s pocket, but if that’s what it takes to have constituents heard, so be it.

  • ltfd August 6, 2020 (1:38 pm)

    The Idiocracy Train is running full-steam ahead.

    • WS Resident August 7, 2020 (1:21 am)

      I love this comment!

  • Thank you Blog August 6, 2020 (1:49 pm)

    Thanks for the helpful reporting WS Blog!  I appreciate your focus on the council members that live in West Seattle (and your good summaries)>

  • Bradley August 6, 2020 (1:51 pm)

    Have you looked at the City Light salary chart?  If you want to trim payroll fat that would be a great place to look. 

  • waughtown August 6, 2020 (1:54 pm)

    I have left multiple phone messages and sent multiple emails to Lisa Herbold as well as the rest of the City Council.  I want to make sure they know that there are many of us who do not want the police to be defunded or reduced in size at all.  So far, after weeks of attempts to get in touch, not even one reply——pathetic.In my opinion, Lisa Herbold and the others are not listening to me or those who share my views.  Defunding and/or reducing the size of our police will have implications for all of us well into the future.  Where is the community outreach?  Where are the town hall discussions?  This is rushed and wreckless!  They are taking advantage of the fact that because of Coronavirus and social distancing, etc., they can push this through with little resistance.  We have one of the most diverse and best trained police forces in the nation.  This is madness!!! 

  • Patrick August 6, 2020 (2:28 pm)

    I have seen a few comments above about how their is not much local support for police as claimed?   What about the petition to not defund any part of the police department, that is going around.  (It is local by the way.)It was at 150,000 signees a few days ago.  Imagine it is up around 200,000 by now.   Does the council  not consider a significant this part of city population as having important opinions.  For those that think the police do not get much support, it is easy to find this petition on the internet.  That is assuming you care to hear what others with differing opinions have to say.  Without getting into any specific needed reforms with policing, I think it is safe to say, without any hesitation, that the city council has no interest in listening to anybody unless is fits with their ideological narrative.  We absolutely DO NOT have a council body that listens to the population as a whole.  I have emailed Herbold multiple times over the last few years, and how many times have I received a response…..a big fat ZERO.   This council only cares what a few special interest groups have to say. (No doubt healthy contributors to re election campaign last year.) I expect this is a small number in comparison  to the city population as a whole.  By the way, the plan is to go to community policing. How did that work out during CHAZ/CHOP for the short three weeks it was around. Few murders, rioting, intimidation. Real good positive test case. NOT!

  • kj August 6, 2020 (3:22 pm)

    Defunding police in Seattle? The home and car insurance companies must be licking their chops while they are doing the math calculations to raise our rates. Be careful what you wish for.

  • Realistic August 6, 2020 (5:59 pm)

    Can’t wait for our tax payer money being spent on defending the CC in all the lawsuits that will get filed against them.

  • Darryll August 6, 2020 (6:12 pm)

    Working class neighborhoods like South Delridge need police. Look at the South Delridge mentions just on WSB.CM Herbold needs to stop reacting to the infantile demands of this fringe group and start acting like an elected official. If she wants to lead the mob, she should resign so she can pursue her true calling.When we’ve asked for her help to deal with illegal behavior in our neighborhood, she shows up but does nothing except make excuses for why she can’t help.  Perhaps next time we’ll show up at her house with loudspeakers and a crowd.  

  • Go Lisa! August 6, 2020 (6:41 pm)

    Sometimes I come to the Blogs comments section to find all the “good white people” who are unwilling to make any changes because the system works well enough for them, or the things that don’t work well aren’t life-threatening.  The biggest complaint here is “Alki is too  noisy at night”, not “my 16 year old son was spread-eagled on the ground at gunpoint for driving while black” or worse.If we white people aren’t willing to tolerate even a fraction of the discomfort that our Black and Brown neighbors experience every day, then we have no hope of making this a more equitable world.

    • DRG August 6, 2020 (8:54 pm)

      Agreed, Lisa.

    • Neighbor August 7, 2020 (4:13 pm)

      We are not complaining because Alki is too noisy at night. This time of year Alki has always been noisy at night. We are complaining because between Covid, street racing, stabbings, and shootings, people are dying. And before you label me, some of us who feel that way aren’t white!

  • KT August 6, 2020 (8:23 pm)

    “We invite the mayor to walk alongside us, or step out of the way”.  Further evidence that mot council  members are not interested in a dialogue but only interested in having their way everyone else be dammed.  

  • Colonel Mustard's Wrench August 7, 2020 (3:03 pm)

    Defund the City Council – phase out the two at large positions and give them all pay cuts !  Let’s clean house when they are up for re-election !

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