This morning, the Council took up their quarterly update to the city government budget. In the package of proposed changes was a gem of a proposal aimed squarely at giving more protection to domestic violence survivors.
The City of Seattle has a law on the books requiring The City Council to approve any department’s acquisition of surveillance equipment. The law is old and badly in need of updating, as last year’s Geofeedia incident made clear. Yesterday the Council started its formal consideration of a refreshed version more in keeping with today’s technology.
This morning, eight of the nine Council members met in committee to continue debating the finer points of the proposed police accountability legislation working its was through the system.
Yesterday the Seattle Police Department submitted a report to Council member Lorena Gonzalez on its mutual aid agreements with other police departments in Washington state, and on how those are impacted by the city’s refusal to enforce federal immigration laws.
Last Thursday, Council member Lorena Gonzalez held a special meeting of her committee to continue the progress on the proposed police accountability legislation.
This afternoon the Council approved an ordinance lifting restrictions on money budgeted for rolling out body-worn cameras to all Seattle Police Department officers.
After many years of discussion and debate, this morning a Council committee started the next step to broad deployment of body-worn cameras on Seattle’s police officers.
Council member Kshama Sawant, her staff, her Socialist Alternative party, and their partner organizations have done some incredible work over the past several weeks in organizing rallies and protests to give voice to opposition to President Trump’s most abhorrent executive orders and policies. But last week she turned the rhetoric knob to 11, and in so doing argued for some actions that are not just ill-conceived but illegal, dangerous to public safety, and a threat to one of the most important foundations of our democracy. And that places her in clear and direct violation of her duties and responsibilities as a City Council member.
On Wednesday, Council President Bruce Harrell brought to the Council an early draft of an ordinance to prohibit biased policing and put remedies in place when it happens. If you’ve spent any time with lawyer — especially groups of lawyers — you know how much they love to nerd out over the fine points of the law. That was on full display Wednesday morning.
Wednesday morning, the City Council had its first committee hearing on the proposed police accountability legislation. It gave a good preview of some important debates we’ll get to see in the weeks to come.