In an incredible bout of irony, a Seattle City Council member who voted to slash the Seattle Police Department’s budget and supports effectively legalizing certain misdemeanor crimes called police earlier this month to request assistance after becoming the victim of a crime.
Seattle City Council member Lisa Herbold called police in the afternoon on Dec. 11 after someone threw a rock at her house, according to KTTH-AM.
Herbold reportedly told police that “she was on the west side of the living room near the kitchen when she heard a loud noise that sounded like a gunshot and dove into the kitchen for cover.”
Herbold did not see who threw the object, but a neighbor described the assailant as a white male, who was “unathletic and a bad runner.”
What does Herbold propose?
Herbold has proposed amending the Seattle municipal code to allow criminals to argue a so-called “poverty defense” when they commit petty crimes like trespassing or shoplifting to meet an “immediate basic need,” KOMO-TV reported.
“It’s giving people an opportunity to tell their stories and giving judges and juries the opportunity to hear those stories and make a decision based on the values of our city,” Herbold told the Seattle City Council’s Public Safety Committee just days before her home was attacked.
That means the perpetrator who seemingly attempted to break into Herbold’s house could be let off if he was attempting to provide for a basic need by breaking into her home.
According to Fox News, Herbold also approves extending such defenses for individuals who commit petty crimes because they are under mental duress or suffer from addiction.
Opponents of Herbold’s proposal said creating exceptions for crimes would only embolden criminals.
Council member Alex Pedersen said, according to KOMO, “This proposal seems to create too easy of a way for repeated vandalism, trespassing and shoplifting and other misdemeanor crimes that can harm others.”
Scott Lindsay, a former mayoral public safety adviser, agreed.
“It’s a green light for crime,” Lindsay said. “If you are engaged in 100 different misdemeanors that are in our criminal justice system code, you are not going to be held liable. You are not going to be held accountable.”
The news comes less than one month after the Seattle City Council approved a massive 18% cut to the Seattle Police Department’s budget.
The cuts mean the police department will lose tens of millions of dollars. But it’s not as bad as it could have been. In fact, in the immediate aftermath of racial unrest over the summer, the majority of the city council pledged to slash the police budget by a whopping 50%.
For her part, Herbold told Fox News, “There are no crimes that I am ‘effectively pushing to make legal.'”