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A "Defund the Police" march in Seattle, Washington, on Aug. 5. Photo: Jason Redmond/AFP via Getty Images

Seattle Police Chief Carmen Best announced her retirement Tuesday, effective Sept 2., a day after the city's council voted to cut the police budget.

Why it matters: Best is Seattle's first Black police chief, AP notes. The council voted to reduce the $409 million annual police budget by $3.5 million for the rest of the year, cut about 100 officers' jobs from the 1,400-strong department and invest $17 million in "community public safety programs," Reuters reports. The one council member to vote against the changes said the action "does not do enough to defund the police," per AP.

A tweet previously embedded here has been deleted or was tweeted from an account that has been suspended or deleted.
  • Per a statement from Council President M. Lorena González, reducing the Seattle Police Department's budget was "in response to the calls for advocating for racial justice and investments in BIPOC [Black, Indigenous, and people of Color] communities.'
  • The action is "supported by demonstrators who have marched in the city following the police killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis but strongly opposed by the mayor and police chief," AP notes.

What they're saying: González said in a statement a council inquiry into the police budget revealed 3% of 911 calls resulted in arrest and that 56% of calls involve non-criminal activity.

  • "As a City, we cannot look at this data and assume this is a best practice and cost-efficient," González said. "What we can do is allow our police to focus on what they are trained to do and fund service providers addressing the more complex issues of housing, substance use disorder, youth violence prevention, affordable healthcare, and more."
Funding interventions and casework centered in harm reduction will mean public safety rooted in community and addressing the root causes of why many people utilize 911, rather than funding arrests and incarceration.
— Excerpt from the statement by González

The other side: Per AP, Mayor Jenny Durkan said in a statement after the vote: "It is unfortunate Council has refused to engage in a collaborative process to work with the mayor, Chief Best, and community members to develop a budget and policies that respond to community needs while accounting for — not just acknowledging — the significant labor and legal implications involved in transforming the Seattle Police Department."

What's next: The council voted for more reductions next year, and talks on the next budget are slated to start next month.

Go deeper: Black Lives Matter co-founder explains "Defund the police" slogan

Go deeper

Rep. Abigail Spanberger wins re-election in Virginia, AP projects

Photo: Win McNamee/Getty Images

Rep. Abigail Spanberger (D-Va.) has won re-election in Virginia's competitive 7th Congressional District, AP projects.

Why it matters: Spanberger's razor-thin victory against state Delegate Nick Freitas (R) comes as a relief to Democrats, who did not see the gains they expected in the House and instead netted a loss of four seats, despite taking the White House.

Updated 42 mins ago - Technology

Mayors see cryptocurrency as a way to address income inequality

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

At the U.S. Conference of Mayors' meeting in D.C. this week, there's buzz around the idea of giving cryptocurrency accounts to low-income people.

Why it matters: Cities have been experimenting with newfangled ways to address income inequality — like guaranteed income programs — and the latest wave of trials could involve paying benefits or dividends in bitcoin, stablecoin or other digital currencies.

Updated 44 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Omicron dashboard

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

  1. Health: FDA OKs antiviral drug remdesivir for non-hospitalized COVID patients — Walensky: CDC language "pivoting" on "fully vaccinated" — Fauci: "Confident" Omicron cases will peak in February
  2. Vaccines: Team USA 100% vaccinated against COVID ahead of Beijing Olympics — Kids' COVID vaccination rates are particularly low in rural America — Annual COVID vaccine preferable to boosters, says Pfizer CEO.
  3. Politics: Arizona governor sues Biden administration over COVID funds tied to mandates — Biden concedes U.S. should have done more testing — Arizona says it "will not be intimidated" on anti-mask school policies.
  4. World: Greece imposes vaccine mandate for people 60 and older — Austria approves COVID vaccine mandate for adults — Beijing officials urge COVID-19 "emergency mode" before Winter Olympics.
  5. Variant tracker