Seattle effectively decriminalized rape.

Seattle police’s sexual assault and child abuse unit staff has been so depleted that it stopped assigning to detectives this year new cases with adult victims, according to an internal memo sent to interim police Chief Adrian Diaz in April.

The unit’s sergeant put her staffing crisis in stark terms.

“The community expects our agency to respond to reports of sexual violence,” Sgt. Pamela St. John wrote, “and at current staffing levels that objective is unattainable.”

Law enforcement agencies here and across the country have grappled with labor shortages during the pandemic and since the 2020 protests following the murder of George Floyd. But Seattle’s failure to staff its sexual assault unit stands out from other local police departments and raises questions about the Seattle Police Department’s priorities, advocates say.

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The memo, sent April 11, emerged amid a wave of new political promises for policing in Seattle. Last fall, Seattle voters elected a new mayor who rejected calls to defund the police and campaigned on a platform to clear public spaces of homeless encampments and strengthen public safety.


h/t Pixel_Beard


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