Black Lives Matter proposes sanctions for SPD’s violation of crowd-control weapons injunction

This afternoon, Black Lives Matter Seattle-King County and the ACLU submitted to the U.S. District Court their proposal for sanctions that should be imposed on the City of Seattle, following a court ruling earlier this week that the Seattle Police Department had violated an injunction restricting its use of “less lethal” crowd-control weapons.

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Catching up with the Mayor’s task force and the Black Brilliance research project

As you may recall, over the past few months two parallel efforts were created to guide multi-million dollar investments in community safety: the Mayor’s Equitable Communities Initiative (ECI) task force to guide $30 million of investments; and King County Equity Now’s “Black Brilliance” research project, commissioned by the City Council, to identify priorities for community investments and make recommendations for a participatory budgeting process to allocate another $30 million of investments. There have been some recent developments, so it’s time to check in on both efforts. (I also encourage you to read PubliCola’s recent coverage of the Black Brilliance research …

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Juarez gives a blunt assessment of police reform, Council dynamics, city politics

This morning during the final budget committee meeting for the year as the City Council debated one last trim to the SPD budget, Council member Debora Juarez delivered a blunt, unexpected and surprising five-minute speech, in which she touched on the expectations and pace for police reform, the current adversarial political culture, and her hopes that we can come together as a city and nation and start healing. Video and full transcript are below.

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SPD budget changes, revisited: some corrections, a better explanation, and a last-minute change in the works

Last Friday I posted a summary of the Council’s budget deliberations last week, including where they landed on SPD’s 2021 budget. Since then I’ve had several email exchanges with the Council’s staff, as they pointed out some inaccuracies in the numbers I posted (and they humbly admitted that they didn’t really explain it all very well). The Council’s unwillingness to try to impose a hiring freeze on SPD in 2021 was widely (but not always accurately) reported over the past few days, and it has created blowback from advocacy groups over the notion that SPD might actually grow in size …

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City responds to BLM contempt allegations

Earlier this week, the City of Seattle filed its response to allegations from Black Lives Matter and the ACLU that it should be held in contempt for violating a preliminary injunction placing restrictions on SPD’s use of crowd-control weapons. The city’s response is a strong defense to the contempt charge, but it raises many additional questions about the way that SPD handles protests.  

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“Black Brilliance” research project delivers preliminary budget recommendations to City Council

Last week the Black Brilliance Research Project, the coalition group led by Decriminalize Seattle and King County Equity Now and asked by the City Council to spearhead a participatory budgeting process for city investments to increase community safety in BIPOC communities, delivered a preliminary report to the Council with a set of recommendations on priorities for the 2021 city budget.

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