Seattle City Council votes to override Mayor Durkan’s veto of police budget cut

SEATTLE — The Seattle City Council decided Tuesday to override Mayor Jenny Durkan’s veto of its police budget cut.

The council voted 7-2. Councilmembers Deborah Juarez and Alex Pedersen voted to uphold the mayor.

The council voted 7-1 on Aug 10 to reduce Seattle Police Department funding by 14% for the rest of the year.

Debora Juarez was not present for the vote while Kshama Sawant was the lone “no” vote because she said the cuts did not go far enough.

The historic reductions could eliminate up to 100 officers through layoffs and attrition, which the mayor called irresponsible, and Seattle Police Chief Carmen Best announced her retirement in protest.

Durkan vetoed the plan on Aug. 21.

It takes only six votes to override a mayor’s veto, meaning two councilmembers would have to change their minds for Durkan’s veto to be sustained.

Council President Lorena Gonzalez has proposed compromise legislation if the council fails to override the veto. She’s also said that several council members indicated they’ll side with the mayor.

Council member Sawant says she does not favor any compromise.

“The first step toward this of course will be to overturn the corporate democrat Mayor Durkan’s veto of the summer budget vote by the council, and upholding the mild but progressive gains that were made through that budget vote,” said Sawant.

Sawant also recently condemned findings from the Office of Police Accountability.

Last week, the office released new body camera video they say proved officers did not intentionally pepper spray a 7-year-old boy.

The compromise could mean fewer or no officers would taken off the street, but would also mean less money for community programs.