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caption: Seattle Police Chief Carmen Best, right, prepares to speak at a news conference as Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan, left, walks to a socially distanced position, Tuesday, Aug. 11, 2020, in Seattle. Best, the first Black woman to lead Seattle's police department, announced she will be stepping down in September following cuts to her budget that would reduce the department by as many as 100 officers.
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Seattle Police Chief Carmen Best, right, prepares to speak at a news conference as Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan, left, walks to a socially distanced position, Tuesday, Aug. 11, 2020, in Seattle. Best, the first Black woman to lead Seattle's police department, announced she will be stepping down in September following cuts to her budget that would reduce the department by as many as 100 officers.
Credit: (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren)

Mayor Durkan vetoes Seattle City Council's police cuts

Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan is vetoing the police staffing cuts and other budget changes that the City Council approved this month.

The Seattle City Council passed bills that reduce the number of officers, cut the Navigation Team, slashed the salaries of Police Chief Carmen Best and her command staff, while also putting more money into community organizations, among other budget changes.

Durkan announced her vetoes Friday, saying she wants to work with the City Council on a different plan.

"I do not believe the 2020 budget in its current form moves us closer to those shared goals, in fact the budget as passed by council would offer few additional cuts or changes, but could mire the city in extended bargaining and even lawsuits," Durkan said.

As for bargaining, she's referring to the police union's opposition to the policing cuts.

In response, Councilmember Lorena Gonzalez says she's disappointed with the veto, and that she's committed to working together to reach a long-overdue transformation of policing in the city.

Councilmember Tammy Morales says that to see the entire budget vetoed because Durkan disagrees with parts of it is really frustrating. She says the goal was to move away from a police system that disproportional affects people of color.

The City Council has 30 days to decide if it will override Durkan's the veto.

This is at least the third time Mayor Durkan has vetoed City Council bills, including the soda tax in 2018, and earlier this month on a Covid-19 relief spending plan.