Some Seattle council members upset with how police handled protesters

SEATTLE — These are tense days on Seattle streets and in City Hall.

On Friday, Mayor Jenny Durkan announced Seattle police would stop using tear gas on demonstrators, but early Monday morning on Capitol Hill, police used it anyway.

SPD stated commanders authorized tear gas because the crowd was throwing bottles, rocks and fireworks at officers and shining lasers in their eyes.

"That tear gas that was used by the Trump administration on the U.S-Mexico border is the same tear gas we're using on Capitol Hill," said City Council President M. Lorena Gonzalez.

Several City Council members who were part of this weekend's protest are now joining calls to defund the police department.

"I am committing to defunding the police, investing at least 50% of that money into communities that we've failed," said City Council member Teresa Mosqueda, who chairs the budget committee.

Mosqueda said she will begin an inquest of SPD's budget at a meeting Wednesday.

“I think we need to replicate what Minneapolis has done,” Mosqueda said.

In Minneapolis, nine of 13 City Council members pledged to dismantle the police force and rebuild the public safety system.

In Seattle, the concept of a more equitable way of policing seemed to find support from City Council members during their Monday morning briefing.

“We really need to push ourselves to think in a transformational way as it relates to funding law enforcement and delivery of public safety,” said Gonzalez.

"If you want to have a conversation about defunding the police, let's talk about the reality right now. The reality is we're already underfunded," said Officer Mike Solan, who is president of the Seattle Police Officers Guild.

"Who's going to be there to answer that 911 call when somebody says, 'I need help someone's breaking into my house,' or who's being assaulted or who just kidnapped a baby?" Solan asked.

Solan said his union supports peaceful protest, but a “small group of criminal actors” is stealing the message from peaceful demonstrators and that his officers are getting hurt.

“Our people, in the dozens, are being hit by projectiles, rocks, explosive devices that injure them. I’ve had a close friend of mine almost lose his right eye,” Solan said.