Seattle City Council Removes Police Officers

City Council censures De León, Cedillo, Martinez after police clear out demonstrators at recent City Council meeting

Wednesday, September 19, 2012, 11:22 pm

The Seattle City Council on Monday night censured both De León and Cedillo during a meeting in which nearly a hundred people packed into the chamber to demand that both police officers be fired.

The meeting followed a protest in which people gathered outside City Hall to demand the removal of the police officers over their use of force against peaceful demonstrators on Oct. 26.

Members of Council’s Public Safety and Justice Committee, which was meeting on Monday night during the City Council’s meeting in the council chambers, began the session with a moment of silence for the officers.

As the chamber emptied, a few people left the chamber and then returned during the night to continue to speak out against the officers’ actions.

About 20 people were seen walking out of the chamber on a sidewalk around the time the meeting began. Those who remained in the chamber spoke of the need for the council to remove the officers from the force.

In a few moments, the meeting was about to begin when Councilman Paul Kobash said he wanted to talk to the two officers.

“We have the right to remain silent,” said Kobash, who is a member of the council’s Public Safety and Justice Committee. “We’re not going to say anything. But the right to remain silent is a right that we just exercised today.”

The committee adjourned the meeting after a short discussion where members voted 4-3 against removing the officers. The votes were cast in favor of the motion by Councilman Mike O’Brien, who said “I think it was a great decision in moving forward,” but left the door open to a future vote if he were to be convinced to change his mind.

O’Brien’s three council colleagues who voted against the motion said they were voting against it because they believe the officers who were involved in the Oct. 26 clash with protesters have acted responsibly as police officers.

“This is one of their first cases where we saw a pattern of behavior,” Councilman Steve Novick said. “I think that’s important that the police be held accountable. I

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