Seattle city council members criticize police response to protests

VIDEO: Seattle city council members criticize police response to protests

SEATTLE — Monday morning, after a weekend of protests, members of the Seattle City Council met virtually and expressed concerns about how Seattle police responded to the demonstrations.

“The very thing that everybody was protesting, excessive police force, was met by a militarized response,” said council member Teresa Mosqueda.

Council members mentioned a video that appears to show a girl after being maced by police.

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Council member Lisa Herbold, who chairs the public safety committee, suggested police did not give protesters adequate warning, as required by city law, before using dispersal tactics.

Herbold said a meeting would be held virtually Wednesday to discuss the protests and hear from police Chief Carmen Best.

Council members raised concerns about assault weapons being stolen from police cars and other incidents caught on video, such as an officer who had a knee on a protester’s neck before a second officer intervened.

“We need an independent community-led investigation into what happened on Saturday,” council member Kshama Sawant said.

Herbold suggested the city law that keeps officers from covering their names should be expanded.

“I think the public has a right to not just see officers names but be able to record their badge numbers,” Herbold said.

Herbold was among the council members who joined the peaceful demonstration.

The council members did not focus on the destruction and looting, but were passionate in their call for an end to police violence.

“My own personal life has been impacted by police violence. I’ve lost family members to police violence,” said M. Lorena Gonzalez, the council president.

“It does make me wonder why looting bothers people so much more than knowing that across the country, black people are being killed around the country,” said council member Tammy Morales.

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