Just under 20% of Seattle police have quit the force over the past year and a half, according to CBS News, citing the city's interim Chief of Police.
The revelation comes after more than a year of violent clashes with anti-police protesters from BLM and Antifa, and a city council which has neutered the Seattle PD's ability to use crowd control devices that social justice activists say didn't go far enough.
To review the last 18 months of policing in Seattle:
- Seattle Moves To Replace 'Racist' Police With 'Trauma-Informed, Gender-Affirming, Anti-Racist' Organizations
- 'I Refuse To Work For This Socialist City Council': Seattle Cops Go Scorched Earth In Exit Interviews
In short, the situation is abysmal, leading to roughly 260 officers packing it up for good.
"The support that we had in my generation of policing is no longer there," said Seattle officer Clayton Powell, who is retiring three years before his 30th year on the force. "When you see businesses get destroyed and families lose their livelihood because of that destruction and we can't do anything about it. We're not allowed to intercede."
Last summer's protests over the killing of George Floyd led to violent clashes with Seattle police. Powell said the stress on officers was compounded by city leaders' decisions to abandon a police precinct and letting demonstrators, some armed,an entire neighborhood for a whole month. As a result, Powell said he and other officers had rocks, bottles, and in some cases, cinder blocks thrown at them, and they had to "stand there and take it."
City leaders allowed the police-free zone after protesters were repeatedly hit by tear gas but closed it down after weeks of violence. City Councilwoman Tammy Morales voted for a 13% cut in the police budget in November — and $5 million of funding cuts are still on the table for the police department.
Meanwhile, the money cut from the police budget has yet to be re-allocated. In other words, it was done out of spite to appease the public.