As the Seattle City Council moves to defund the city’s police department by 50 percent, minority communities in the area often targeted in violent hate crimes are worried for their safety, former city council candidate Ari Hoffman said.
“It seems like the experiment of the CHOP, the failure of it, wasn’t clear to elected officials, when they removed cops… [and it] resulted in two deaths of two African-American teenagers,” Hoffman told “Fox & Friends” on Sunday.
“Now, they want to expand that to the city,” he explained. “At the same time, they have not put forth any plans to address how to keep communities at risk safe, like the Jewish community, the Asian community, who had incidents of violence before.”
Hoffman pointed to a 2006 shooting at the Seattle Jewish Federation building, during which SWAT was called to intervene and successfully minimized the number of casualties.
“They’re talking about cutting that back,” he said.
Seattle has recently been the focus of an intense protest that occupied a precinct and about six city streets called CHOP. The city eventually removed the protesters but not before two people were killed by gunfire.
Seven out of the city council’s nine members have indicated support of defunding police, according to a report. The department’s budget is $409 million.
Hoffman argued that the city council, driven by their “Marxist, socialist ideology,” is focussed on completely “abolishing the police department.”
“They’re really about abolishing the police department. A lot of them said they would do it when running for council…this shouldn’t be a surprise to anybody,” he said. ” This is more of their Marxist, socialist ideology. And the question, who is this community group are they going to replace the police department with?” he asked.
” They’re just continuing along this failed policy path and there is no recourse to the citizens so far.”
Hoffman said Seattle serves as the “canary in a coal mine for the rest of America” as the movement to defund police continues to gain traction in several parts of the country.
“I have often called Seattle the canary in the coal mine for the rest of America. This is the kind of stuff they try out here, and it gets pushed out,” he said. “For example, this LEAD program, Law Enforcement Assistance Diverse program, was pushed out across the country and that was the basis for the bail reform law that turns criminals loose in New York,” he argued.
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“Seattle was the basis for a lot of these failed policies, so that is very concerning to me,” Hoffman added. “What is concerning to me is how people are not watching what is happening in Portland and Seattle with riots. People claim [they] are peaceful protests, which they are anything but… now they are in favor of bringing this to their own cities.”