Former Seattle mayoral candidate says defunding police caused exodus of officers: ‘Experiment isn’t working’

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The mass exodus of Seattle police officers due to the defund-the-police movement is resulting in chaos, former mayoral candidate Lance Randall argued on Thursday.

“It is terrifying,” Randall told “Fox & Friends.” 

Randall said the experiment of defunding the police as a way to try to address the issue of police violence has not worked. He argued that the city council’s decision to cut the police budget by 20% led to an increase in crime in Seattle. 

“Police officers are leaving. People are less safe in Seattle and there is chaos. So the experiment of trying to address the issue with a broad brush across the entire police department just didn’t work,” he said. 

He went on to say “I think you have to focus on the officers, particularly officers who commit atrocities, and address them while at the same time supporting the officers who are keeping their oath to protect and serve. But this approach of going after the entire department has caused a serious problem here in the city of Seattle.”

 FORMER POLICE SERGEANT: BLM, ‘DEFUND POLICE MOVEMENT’ REVERSED DIVERSITY TREND IN POLICE DEPARTMENTS

Nearly 150 officers have separated from the Seattle Police Department in 2021, with 335 officers departing since last year.

“SPD staffing has exceeded crisis levels for a city the size of Seattle. But that hasn’t stopped one Seattle council member’s office from asking about what a 50% budget cut would mean to the SPD,” according to KTTH’s Jason Rantz.

“According to data obtained by the Jason Rantz Show on KTTH, 129 officers have officially left the SPD this year. There are 20 more separations in line to be processed in the coming weeks. Consequently, there’s only 1,048 deployable staff for the entire city.”

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Randall said having fewer officers puts the public safety delivery system in “jeopardy” and residents are concerned.

“I’m very concerned because, as you know, a while back I was almost a victim of someone assaulting me with a gun in my neighborhood. I’m very concerned about the fact that we continue to go down this path knowing that this experiment is not working.”

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Meanwhile, murders have increased 16% across major U.S. cities so far in 2021 compared to 2020, a new report shows.

There were 259 more murders in the first half of 2021 compared to the first half of 2020, and 548 more compared to the first half of 2019 in 29 major U.S. cities, according to a Thursday update to the Council on Criminal Justice’s (CCJ) pandemic crime report.

The study’s updated findings by CCJ, a nonpartisan criminal justice policy organization, indicate an upward trend in violent crime that began in 2020 at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, though CCJ notes that increases in murders slowed between the first and second quarters of this year.

Fox News’ Danielle Wallace contributed to this report.

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