SEATTLE - Hundreds gathered outside Seattle City Hall in support of the Seattle Police Department, just a day ahead of Seattle City Council's expected vote on defunding police.
'Back the Blue' supporters lined the steps of City Hall in downtown Seattle, blaring music and chanting "S-P-D" Sunday afternoon.
Demonstrations, starting at noon, remained peaceful. Seattle officers stood at the ready in the street, blocking off demonstrations on opposing sides with barricades.
Opposing protesters lined-up behind barricades across City Hall, counter-protesting SPD supporters, shouting demands to defund the police department.
Demonstrations come within a day of an expected vote from the Seattle City Council on slashing the 2020 SPD budget.
A federal judge warned last week the council to be ‘mindful’ of the long-standing federal oversight when passing any legislation. Last month, the Justice Department succeeded in securing a temporary restraining order on the ban from U.S. District Court Judge James Robart.
The federal government successfully argued that it needed time to consider whether the ban impacts the consent decree, a reform agreement between the DOJ and SPD that has governed the department since 2012.
In a statement released last week, a council spokesperson told Q13 News, “The Seattle City Council has ever intention to comply with the consent decree obligations as it crafts the budget, and will continue to work with Judge Robart, the Department of Justice and other appropriate stakeholders to achieve such compliance.”