Despite pledges by seven of nine Seattle City Council members to defund the police department by 50 percent following the death in Minneapolis of George Floyd, when it came time to vote Monday, the percentage was much lower.
The council, in an 8-1 vote to retool Mayor Jenny Durkan’s 2021 budget with changes of their own, opted to cut the police budget by just under 20 percent, KOMO reports.
Minutes after the vote, Durkan issued a statement indicating that she will sign the legislation, ending any speculation of a mayoral veto.
“I applaud the City Council for taking a more deliberate and measured approach to the 2021 Seattle Police Department budget than occurred this summer, which led to the resignation of former SPD Chief Carmen Best,” Durkand said.
“Defund police by 50 percent was a slogan, and it was an empty and misleading slogan," said Councilwoman Debra Juarez, one of two council members who did not make the 50 percent pledge. "It caused damage, it caused pain, it caused trauma, it caused anger.”