Re: “ ‘There’s no plan’: Seattle City Council’s moves to slash police funding draw criticism” [Aug. 17, Northwest]:
With all due respect, who is doing more to unravel the consent decree than the police themselves? Despite evidence of past progress, the Seattle Police Department’s response to recent protests undermines the argument that federal oversight has led to durable change. When faced with a new, dynamic situation, SPD reverted to unconstitutional and heavy-handed tactics, with disturbing evidence of reprisal against lawyers and news media, and deception of the public and political leaders. It was obvious to anyone watching that SPD either deeply misunderstood or, at worst, ignored an injunction against using indiscriminate force. If after nearly a decade of oversight SPD can’t be trusted in key moments, when can they be trusted?
Yes, the council needs to be more strategic, measured and proactive rather than reactive. But why are they the only ones of whom we’re asking hard questions? What is everyone else’s plan? SPD’s response to the protests clearly shows that staying the course is not an acceptable answer.
Noel Pelland, Seattle