June 6, 2020
Seattle police have used stunning and indiscriminate violence against ordinary people and protest movements in the wake of George Floyd’s murder at the hands of Minneapolis police.
This violence and brutality has – believe it or not – continued despite the widespread anger and outrage in our city since Saturday. Just last night on Capitol Hill, activists are reporting that a mother and her child were pepper sprayed by the police – while they were sitting in their car.
Seattle police have been violent under Mayor Durkan’s watch, and she has refused to condemn it and has failed to stop it. Her announcement that there will be a 30-day pause in the use of one type of tear gas shows the pressure of our movement on the City establishment, but is all but meaningless.
On Monday, I will introduce two pieces of legislation, to be voted on as soon as possible this month.
The first is legislation banning police use or purchase of chemical weapons (including tear gas, mace, pepper spray), rubber bullets/bean bags, water cannons, and sonic/ultra-sonic weapons.
The other is legislation to ban the use of chokeholds by the police.
Winning either of these would be historic, but will need a powerful movement. Momentum is on our side but already voices within the political establishment are saying tear gas use would be OK once police get more “training” and “appropriate use can be vetted by oversight entities and incorporated into a written SPD policy.” In other words, more tear gas.
This is unacceptable.
Will you email the City Council today and also testify on Monday? My socialist Council office stands with the growing movement to #DefundPolice, and cut the bloated Seattle police budget by half to fund restorative justice, and for the Amazon Tax on big businesses to fund housing, jobs, and the Green New Deal.
See you at the weekend protest actions, and online at the City Council public testimony on Monday! And join me at a public meeting Tuesday night at 6PM to discuss how we can build the movement to win concrete victories to stop police violence and brutality.