UPDATE: Protest at California/Fauntleroy

7:43 PM: Just happened onto a traffic-stopping protest at California/Fauntleroy. Protesters have circled cars to block the intersection. Police are here telling them to move. The protesters are yelling about housing affordability. (Added) Looking at their signage, it’s a police-defunding demonstration.

7:50 PM: They’ve moved on and the intersection is open again.

8:02 PM: This is the City Council legislation the protest was about. It’s a police-funding bill that’s been debated for months; it’s due for a vote at the Tuesday afternoon council meeting (here’s the agenda). It basically would cut $5 million from SPD’s budget though in numerous discussions there has been some contention SPD doesn’t need the money anyway because it’s spending less on salaries after so many departures, but SPD contends it needs the money for other things.

46 Replies to "UPDATE: Protest at California/Fauntleroy"

  • Christy Cyr May 28, 2021 (7:45 pm)

    I can definitely hear something going down. What are they protesting? 

    • WSB May 28, 2021 (8:00 pm)

      We’ve added to the story after seeing the bill on the protest sign we got closest to. The City Council has a police-funding vote coming up. Adding more background now that we’re home.

  • Brian May 28, 2021 (8:12 pm)

    When SPD arrived it seemed as if their public address was being piped through speakers installed in the intersection itself. I know there was one SPD patrol car behind the stuck city bus on the East side of the intersection, but his live address sounded like it was coming from the middle of the intersection. Is there permanent hardware SPD can patch into to address the public like this?

  • TJ May 28, 2021 (8:12 pm)

    Blocking the intersection to protest housing affordability. Strange tactic that just angers motorists. Go get a hobby or something 

    • WSB May 28, 2021 (8:20 pm)

      The “housing affordability” we heard was in relation to the main topic, police defunding – that the money spent on police would be better spent on housing, etc.

      • Auntie May 28, 2021 (8:43 pm)

        If we continue this police defunding effort, who will come when we  call 9-1-1? We need to fund a certain level of police activities or would people just rather we let everyone run amok? 

        • WSB May 28, 2021 (9:12 pm)

          The current chasm between those advocating for alternative community safety system and those advocating for status quo is: What happens during the transition time? To the specific bill highlighted on the protest sign in our photo, the fight over this bill is as much symbolic as anything – SPD contends that if council approves it, it sends a message of a lack of support for police; alternative-community-safety supporters say approving it will be a show of opposition to reform.

          • Auntie May 28, 2021 (9:28 pm)

            All I know is that when I call 9-1-1, I want real police to come help me. A community safety support person isn’t going to stop someone who is breaking into my home or my car. We need to support our local police and the good job they are trying to do, in spite of defunding efforts.

          • M.B. May 31, 2021 (11:05 am)

            I’m pretty sure that when you call and say, “I’m being robbed” that they’d send actual police rather than the counselor that a “person in crises” would get.

        • ~Hockeywitch~ May 28, 2021 (10:08 pm)

          “All I know is that when I call 9-1-1, I want real police to come help
          me. A community safety support person isn’t going to stop someone who is
          breaking into my home or my car. We need to support our local police
          and the good job they are trying to do, in spite of defunding efforts.”

          I am in 100% agreement with you.. There aren’t enough officers as it is. When I call 911 I want an officer there and as fast as they can get to me.. I’m calling because I am in danger, or a law is being broken.  I back the blue and I’m not  ashamed of that.

          • time of change May 29, 2021 (9:17 am)

            If you were a person with black or brown skin color, you may be nervous to call the police when trouble comes your way, because of the risk of someone in your family being unjustly harmed.

            Everyone, regardless of skin color, should be able to feel safe calling the police when they need help. 

          • Mike May 30, 2021 (7:11 am)

            Everyone, regardless of skin color, should be able to feel safe calling the police when they need help.”Time of Change,  I agree that everyone should feel safe calling the police.   Maybe it’s the narrative rather than actual interaction that causes people to not feel safe calling police.  When you are told to fear something over and over, you will believe it.  The reason to have police at parades and schools and in the community is so people feel comfortable with them and also so they feel like part of the community they serve.  If all we do is teach fear and hate, you end up with fear and hate.  Stop the cycle of fear and hate, you get better results.

  • StopCuttingDownTrees May 28, 2021 (9:27 pm)

    I hope our defunded SPD arrests them for blocking traffic.

    • WSB May 28, 2021 (9:34 pm)

      We did not see any arrests. Police asked them to move out of the intersection, and after a few minutes, they dispersed.

    • Pauline May 28, 2021 (11:19 pm)

      West Seattle has many detour residential routes…small world issues. not a big problem. 

      • StopCuttingDownTrees May 28, 2021 (11:50 pm)

        If you’re stuck behind blocked cars between intersections you CANNOT detour another route. That’s one reason it’s illegal to block traffic.

  • bradley May 28, 2021 (10:10 pm)

    This is just vindictiveness against SPD.  $5 mil won’t solve the housing crisis, when we’ve thrown hundred of millions dollars at it already.  Maybe its a Management Issue?

    • Pauline May 28, 2021 (11:08 pm)

      Management? Wake up! There’s more important issues. Defunding means to allocate towards uplifting our community. Housing, education, health…investing in the people for crying out loud. 

      • Pulsar V. May 28, 2021 (11:22 pm)

        “Uplifting our community” what does that even mean? Handing out random grants to social projects? Who’s going to manage this money? How will it be measured? We have police officers earning way too much in overtime because there’s not enough people to cover normal shifts. Invest the RIGHT, NEEDED amount of money in public safety to prevent silly problems like this and you can free up money to throw at whatever lacking-in-oversight “uplifting” you want. Taking money from SPD to “punish” them is worse than childish and will get people hurt – the same people who you’re supposedly trying to uplift. 

        • zark00 May 29, 2021 (2:09 pm)

          lol, Pulsar you think cops make massive salaries because we don’t have enough of them so they have to work overtime??  Oh my, you don’t know how much SPD is ripping you off – it’s amazingly bad, there is zero oversight for overtime for officers. The last audit, average SPD salary, $153k, with 350+ officers making over $200,000, almost 100 made $250,000, top 10 made over $300k, up to almost a half million for one officer. Most of it overtime. We have officers who booked 48 hours of ‘work’ in a single day where there time sheets show 8 hours. We have officers who filed for overtime in both systems, and were paid twice, and that is considered correct and accurate. We have officers who booked double time event pay and didn’t show up to the event and work. One patrol officer made over $400,000 – including his $123,000 base pay and $215,000 in overtime – for one year. He supposedly worked for over 600 days that year.  SPD is the best run gang in the city. 

      • Skye Best May 29, 2021 (1:25 am)

        Share your strategy plan on what we should do. It’s time for taking the steps to make it happen. What are your suggestions on the steps we need to take to provide better & affordable healthcare, housing, education & have safe neighborhoods? What would be our budget? How do we get leadership that works for the people? 

  • Sam @ Zeeks May 28, 2021 (11:37 pm)

    Ambush protesting ain’t cool. I work at Zeeks. It happened right in front of my store. Perhaps all these protestors forgot to ask themselves, “How does impacting the wages of some of the poorest people in your own community advance your cause or build allies?”

    It doesn’t. It’s misguided. Right now I’m not interested in looking up their cause. Right now I’m looking so go off on them online. That’s why I’m here. Your message got lost. No one who was stopped at the intersection are going to bother to learn about your cause. Good failure guys.

    I’m trying to keep my language clean right now. I’m PISSED at what happened today. Stop shutting down traffic. Stop shutting down I-5. People stop having sympathy when you pull off one of these ambush demonstrations. 

    • Scubafrog May 29, 2021 (12:13 am)

      Rich.  Zeeks talking about wages as they’re in the midst of a massive class action lawsuit for underpaying employees.  

    • Marcus May 29, 2021 (6:27 am)

      This defunding police issue has run its course and it is time for people to start rallying to build back the police force.  I want to see bicycle police in the junction and on alki.  I liked it when a patrol car would occasionally drive by my house.  I am tired of all the crime in WS and silliness of the de-funders.  Friday is work day for most so go out and get a job like adults and start building stock in your life.  Marcus 

    • Steve May 29, 2021 (7:05 am)

      I agree completely w/Sam! While I was originally open to hearing their message, these antics just disgust me–wandering around traffic (and putting people’s safety at stake in the process) shouldn’t be tolerated, period. I truly do think the “defund” crowd will have a rude awakening come November.

    • Mr E May 29, 2021 (7:14 am)

      “How does impacting the wages of some of the poorest people in your own community advance your cause or build allies?”

      That sounds more like an issue for employees to receive better wages and benefits from their employer.

    • Jake from State farm May 29, 2021 (9:15 am)

      Amen, Amen , Amen!!!I will support Zeeks do to your Statement!This is the right way to find support.

  • JK May 29, 2021 (12:45 am)

    We were walking approaching Morgan Junction as this formed up and started.  It was a good protest for about 2-3 minutes.  This would have been a good time to stop, they had the crowd’s attention, and had made a point.  They could have done this 10 more times all over WS. But it kept going.  And then some guy in a truck started yelling at them, he got by and tore off.  A couple people in cars revved engines to drown out the bullhorn.  Then the honking started as people were losing patience being stuck there.  The protesters totally lost the crowd.  Just pissed off people at BLM.  Dumb protest.

  • Smittytheclown May 29, 2021 (5:41 am)

    Let’s hope no one was en route to the hospital.  These life-threatening tactics that reared their ugly head last summer need to cease.  There are ways to make yourself heard without being destructive.  Regardless of how justified your cause, it backfires from a PR standpoint.

  • Concerned May 29, 2021 (8:42 am)

    Defunding the police over a few rogue officers is ridiculous in my opinion. Is it a problem nationwide? Yup. But if you look at the overall, let’s face it, we’ve got some good officers out there. You couldn’t pay me enough to do that job and to see what they see. They see the worst of the worst. You can complain about it all day long but until you do the job you don’t know. And if you’re unhappy with the way things are being done go be a police officer. At the end of their shift they just wanna go home to their families like the rest of us. 

    • WiseWoman May 29, 2021 (11:38 am)

      Well I think if I was making $108K-$414K a year I could be a darn good officer!

      • Concerned May 29, 2021 (2:45 pm)

        Unfortunately they don’t all get paid as well as you think. If they did I would sign up for sure! But quite honestly you couldn’t pay me enough to do that job. 

  • Changing times May 29, 2021 (9:45 am)

    Forget about defunding the police, we need them. How about telling city council to defund the 1% percent art ordinance https://www.historylink.org/File/10645

    Times have changed!

  • Scubafrog May 29, 2021 (10:21 am)

    Until there’s police reform, SPD will keep losing money.  The status quo doesn’t work.   The polls show that the majority of Seattleites want reform (and that will prove itself in the upcoming local elections).  White, privileged Seattleites in this thread barking about ‘arresting protesters’, and ‘hiring more police’, have lost the plot, and may have issues with empathy/ignorance.

    • Mel May 29, 2021 (10:36 am)

      Scubafrog- completely wrong. As a POC, you need to go to these neighborhoods and see how other BIPOC feel. They’re the ones being hurt with less police. They vast majority of them are not asking for less police. It’s the white privileged people who live in their fancy and safe neighborhoods that are. Wake up! They’re the ones who don’t experience crime as much and don’t see defunding as a big issue. It’s time to start putting pressure on elected officials. I’m supporting police. I’ve had enough.

      • WiseWoman May 29, 2021 (11:35 am)

        Everyone is experiencing crime in this city regardless of color. There is actual crime and there is systematic crime. Housing is a necessary must to get the homeless off the street and basic crime should lessen. Then go after the crime rings. And the drug rings. We need a prosecutor who prosecutes lying prosecutors, lying police and we need more reviews of judges who side with lying prosecutors. This is how you change this city. Accountability in every system, every department, every person treated equally. Infuse money preventatively not throwing good after bad money. We need a whole new council. People are sick of all of them.  

        • Mel May 29, 2021 (12:24 pm)

          We need a prosecutor who prosecutes criminals and judges who keep them behind bars instead of little to no bail.

        • Marcus May 29, 2021 (3:22 pm)

          I am white and I do not consider myself immune from crime.  Neighbor got his truck stolen and I saw the activity at the end and they were white.Crime is crime and is not good for any demographic.  There is a large police presence on Alki right now and I hope they are getting triple time on this holiday weekend.

    • StopCuttingDownTrees May 29, 2021 (12:44 pm)

      Frankly, I’m surprised that the WSB allowed your racist comment on here. If your “white, privileged” slur were replaced with any other race or ethnicity I’ll bet it wouldn’t be allowed. As a BIPOC with a family of color I can assure you that we not only want SPD protection but we 1) pay taxes for it 2) expect it 3) deserve it. 

  • Chris K May 29, 2021 (2:14 pm)

    Defund 100%.  How many POC have to die before this happens?

  • Marcus May 29, 2021 (4:55 pm)

    Defunding police does not decrease bad and racist police.  Voting for sensible politicians and demanding police reform does decrease unacceptable police behavior.  I want those bad horrible people off any police force.Fund police, fight crime equalling and fairly.  And, when police do bad things—prosecute.  Thanks SPD!

    • IheartBPP May 30, 2021 (11:53 am)

      Marcus, I think your comment is very insightful.  The world is a gray place, full of nuances and your comment highlights that.  Cries of “defund the police” (terrible slogan) only do disservice to solving the real challenges of equitable public policy – effective law enforcement, compassionate public health, and personal responsibility are not mutually exclusive. 

  • Pessoa May 29, 2021 (4:55 pm)

    The longer I live in this city,  I realize that protesters and police, despite the public theatre of being at odds with each other, are locked in a symbiotic relationship.   The need each other; one for the narcissistic “fix,” the other for all the juicy OT.   

  • Don McKendry May 29, 2021 (11:27 pm)

    If you can’t afford Seattle, there are many other fine places to live in the Puget Sound area.  

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