A Native American member of the Seattle City Council is firing back after being targeted by “Defund the Police” protesters who disrupted her neighborhood and spraypainted obscene messages in graffiti near her home after she refused to sign a pledge committing to an immediate 50% reduction in the Seattle Police Department’s budget.
“Several tribal leaders in Washington state are denouncing ‘incredibly personal and targeted acts of violence’ against Seattle’s lone Indigenous City Council member, Debora Juarez, who in recent weeks has received death threats and been harassed at home by mobs of protesters who support defunding police,” Indian Country Today reported.
Juarez reportedly began receiving obscene messages at her personal cellphone number in mid-July because, although she supports redirecting a percent of the Seattle law enforcement budget to community organizations she, like mayor Jenny Durkan, refused to put her name on a petition demanding the Seattle Police Department face an immediate 50% cut in funding.
“Protesters have showed up at her house by the dozens a few times, shining their car headlights into her windows at night and using a bullhorn to chant and hurl insults, she said. She stayed at a motel one night and warned family members to keep away,” according to the outlet. “People also spray-painted names such as ‘corporate bootlicker’ and obscene messages on her street, and they continue to send her harassing and threatening texts.”
In a city council meeting last week, Juarez tore into the protesters, accusing those pressing to “Defund the Police” of “poisoning” the movement for greater racial equality with their “white privilege.”
“This is my life. This is home. This is not Coachella. This is not City Hall,” Juarez said. “Also, I’m not the toxic dumping ground where you need to come talk about your white privilege and how you need to talk about Black lives, because you sure as f**k don’t care about my life.”
“I’ve watched my elders be arrested and be put in the back of cop cars and watched Fish and Wildlife agents hurt our people and jail our people,” she said. “I was a lawyer for tribes for over 30 years in federal court defending treaty rights, economic development, Indian Child Welfare Act, doing depositions against white landowners.”
“I support reallocating the SPD budget and investing in communities that have lived with the ravages and inhumanity of racism,” she explained. “To reorganize, reduce, and reallocate such funds and duties, we need a plan, not a percentage. We must balance our desire for expediency with foresight to ensure these reforms are permanent.”
She then went back to targeting protesters.
“The hypocrisy of these goofy white people who have these Black Lives Matter T-shirts are all of a sudden ‘woke’ and talking about centering BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, people of color) is bulls**t,” Juarez said. “Because they didn’t live our lives. They didn’t live our trauma. That’s the hypocrisy that breaks my heart because they don’t know who I am.”
The Seattle City Council is currently debating a number of measures that would reallocate money typically funneled to law enforcement elsewhere.
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