Seattle City Council member Kshama Sawant said she would be introducing legislation on Monday that would “ban the use of all chemical weapons and crowd-control, so-called crowd-control weapons against protest movements and to ban chokeholds.”
Sawant, a self-proclaimed socialist, made her announcement on CNN Friday during an interview with host Brianna Keilar, reported CNS News. Sawant called the demonstrators who have taken over six square blocks of Seattle’s Capitol Hill neighborhood, now called the Capitol Hill Autonomous Zone (CHAZ) a “rebellion” that “is incredibly inspiring to the vast majority of American people.”
She then accused President Donald Trump of threatening those “who are courageously protesting against police violence, threatening them with further escalation and military targets. I think it is a — we have to absolutely reject this idea.”
Trump has actually denounced the violent riots that have sprung up alongside the protesters.
“And, in fact, in that spirit on Monday, I will be bringing in legislation to vote to ban the use of all chemical weapons and crowd-control, so-called crowd-control weapons against protest movements and to ban chokeholds,” Sawant continued.
“It’s extremely important that we take this historic moment to win a real victory against police violence, defund by at least 50 percent and fight for an independently elected oversight board over the police,” she added, according to CNS.
Sawant went onto claim that “every night,” the Seattle Police Department is “inflicting incredible brutality and violence, horrific against the peaceful protest movement led by black and brown people.” She claimed she was “tear-gassed and maced” the night before. Sawant called Trump a “coward” and then blamed Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan for the “violence against the peaceful protest movement.”
She went on to say:
This rebellion happened in the first place because police departments in city after city after city have been murdering black and brown people, exacting systematic violence against people with impunity. This has happened with impunity. Not a single police officer so far has been prosecuted under Mayor Durkan, for example, in Seattle.
Eight black and brown community members have been murdered at the hands of the police. Not one police officer has been prosecuted. We need to change the status quo.
That is why our movement is demanding that we defund the police by at least 50 percent and divert those funds for community programs, for restorative justice so we begin to address this systematic racism, what we need beyond that.
Seattle Police Chief Carmen Best said last week that the protests in CHAZ are anything but peaceful, saying that “rapes, robberies” and other violent crimes are occurring in the area but that her police officers are unable to respond due to the demonstrators hurling projectiles at them and barring their entrance.