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Protesters gathered with signs and marched to Seattle Mayor Bruce Harrell's home on Sunday afternoon, apparently upset that he had called for an increase in the city's police budget for 2024.
Harrell, who is the first Asian-American mayor in Seattle, called for a $17 million increase in the city's police budget for 2024, but protesters were apparently not happy with the suggestion. Harrell has proposed raising the Seattle police budget to $391 million.
One speaker reportedly said, "What better way to spend our Sunday than marching a bunch of amazing people up to Mayor Bruce Harrell's house and delivering him a birthday present?" The speaker appeared to be making a gesture toward Harrell's birthday, which is later this month.
While the protesters have pushed back against the proposed budget increase, Harrell has insisted that it is not possible to have "safety without accountability and community trust," adding that "sadly, we have seen that trust fractured through recent events where officers have disrespected or dehumanized our neighbors. Those comments make me incredibly sad and incredibly disappointed."
There were dozens of people who gathered in a park before making their way to Harrell's home, chanting phrases such as "No justice, no peace" and "say her name," referencing Jaahnavi. Police officers were reportedly present at the event, but they did not engage with the protesters.
Despite calls for reducing funds for the Seattle police, crimes continue to be a serious issue throughout the city. Fox News reported that Seattle has already exceeded last year's homicide count and that car thefts reached a 15-year high in 2022.
Harrell commented on these crimes, saying that "with homicides up and when SPD is recovering more guns than any previous time in our history ... we know we can't be complacent."
The recent budget proposal suggests allocating $1.8 million toward a crime prevention initiative that would utilize automatic license plate readers, gunshot detection systems, and surveillance cameras. Similar gunshot detection systems have been a major issue in Chicago, with some claiming that they are not effective.
Seattle Mayor Bruce Harrell unveils proposed 2024 budgetwww.youtube.com
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