Seattle City Council Member Suggests Firing White Officers In Massive Reduction Of Police Department

Seattle City Council photo

The Seattle City Council is facing something of a dilemma in its popular pledge to cut the police budget by 50 percent. To do so would require firing a significant number of police officers, which is also popular. The problem is that the firing would be done by seniority and many of the less senior officers are black.  The solution according to City Council member Lisa Herbold is simple: fire officers based on their race.  While that would be the definition of racial discrimination, Herbold clearly believes that it is discrimination for a good cause. The federal courts are likely to disagree.  Most notably, Herbold’s call for racial discrimination against white officers would seek to undue the work of Justice Thurgood Marshall who insisted that racial discrimination unlawful and evil regardless of the race you want to disenfranchise or discriminate against.

Seattle Police Chief Carmen Best released a video calling the plan of Herbold and others “completely reckless.” She also sent a letter to Mayor Jenny Durkan warning that dramatic cuts would require the layoff of hundreds of officers. The Police Department also warned that the firings would include many minority officers.


It was only the last risk that concerned Herbold who promptly suggested discriminating on the basis of race:


Herbold insists that this would be perfectly legal despite the prohibitions under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.

What concerns me most is not that such calls for racial discrimination are possibly constitutional but that they are so clearly popular.

The EEOC amplifies this point on its website: “It is unlawful to discriminate against any employee or applicant for employment because of race or color in regard to hiring, termination, promotion, compensation, job training, or any other term, condition, or privilege of employment.”

In taking this position, Herbold is opposing one of the best known opinions by Thurgood Marshall. In McDonald v. Santa Fe Trail Transportation Co. (1976), Justice Thurgood Marshall wrote opinions that called for the broad interpretation of Title VII to protect everyone. In McDonald, two white employees were fired after a theft in the business.  The two white employees were held jointly and severally liable with a black employee. However, only the white employees were fired.  After they sued under Title VII, Marshall wrote for the majority in denouncing such discrimination against white employees, insisted that “racial discrimination in private employment against whites [must be] on the same terms as racial discrimination against nonwhites.”  He denounced “the illogic in retaining guilty employees of one color while discharging those of another color.”  While Marshall would vigorously support affirmative action (including his dissent in Bakke), he believed that all races were protected from discrimination under federal law.

This of course would be even more egregious since Herbold wants to fire white officers due to their race alone.  They would not be accused of any wrongdoing or failure.  The problem is their race.

It is notable that is not an action that is part of or in furtherance of a valid affirmative action plans ordered by a court or approved by a federal agency. See United Steelworkers of America v. Weber (1979) and Johnson v. Transportation Agency (1987). In Ricci v. DeStefano (2009), the Supreme Court ruled against the city of New Haven after a group of white firefighters and a hispanic firefighter challenged the refusal to certify the results of promotion exams in order to promote black firefighters who performed less well.  The Court held that the City’s refusal to certify the test was unlawful discrimination under Title VII. If found that “race-based action like the City’s in this case is impermissible under Title VII unless the employer can demonstrate a strong basis in evidence that, had it not taken the action, it would have been liable under the disparate-impact statute.”

Herbold would not only refuse to promote on the basis of race but would fire officers on that basis.  No test. Just a pure racially discriminatory program of terminations.  Parents Involved in Community Schools v. Seattle School District No. 1 (2007), Chief Justice John Roberts once declared “The way to stop discrimination on the basis of race is to stop discriminating on the basis of race.”  That is clearly not the plan of Herbold and any of her colleagues who want to fire officers based on their race.


366 thoughts on “Seattle City Council Member Suggests Firing White Officers In Massive Reduction Of Police Department”

  1. Interesting, discrimination based on a good cause is somehow justified. Now Why didn’t someone else think of that before? Probably because it is still discrimination. But leave it to Seattle to go where no one else can dare. I guess then attrition is too slow and not radical enough, even though they are setting the stage and encouraging it..

  2. The ACLU and locals are suing to keep the government from protecting federal property in Portland. If an Obama judge rules against the government I hope they step aside and let the rioters into the courthouse and judge’s chambers. Pull all security. That’s the way you like it then here you go.

    1. Young– racism 24/7 is getting a little tiresome. I keep trying to fit a local historical fact into the woe-is-me running commentary of so many blacks and their white racist democrat enablers. Forty years ago in 1980 in this small Texas town in which we live, the high school homecoming king was white and the homecoming queen was black. He was valedictorian and she was equally accomplished both academically and as an athlete. The picture of them on their throne shows her hand resting on his arm as if they were on a date. The local paper referred to them as “Mr. and Mrs. _____ High School.” The schools here had been fully integrated since 1969, fifty-one years ago, and the homecoming king and queen never experienced segregated schools. Obviously, in our small Texas town, if anyone is motivated and works hard, for at least forty plus years they have been able to succeed regardless of race or ethnicity. Are we that unique or is this the way it is and has been all over for a long time? And if this is the way it has been, who are these woe-is-me people who claim they are so oppressed by white people?

      1. I have no experience to compare with yours. I grew up in an all white community except for a few American Indians and Mexicans and I don’t recall any racial animus except that the Indians were reserved but that is sometimes their nature. I would expect your experience to be general but we have too many people invested in racial hostility who keep promoting it. Another problem, I suspect, is that affirmative action has pushed some people into positions they cannot handle and it is easy to blame failures on others. Michelle Obama’s school thesis is thick with alienation and bitterness and I suspect she was in an a academic environment she could not easily navigate. I have read that but for her race she would never have gotten into the schools she did. You may have read Keith Richburg’s book ‘Out of America’. He admits he had a chip on his shoulder about race but covering events in Africa changed his views considerably. Near the end he says something along the lines that slavery is bad and all that but thank God his ancestors were brought to America or his might have been one of the bodies tumbling over the falls downstream of Rwanda. He was pessimistic about the rest of Africa. I listened to a white interviewer on NPR trying to get him to speak of the successes in some African countries and he wasn’t having it.

        Your experience growing up is what could be but never will so long as racism is used as an industry and a means of shaking money out of the trees and herding votes into booths.

      2. Totally understand what you are saying. But in the real world in many places racism still exist against black brown people. I grew up on an island and we have never treated any other non Polynesians who have visited n lived on our island differently but welcome them.. but I’ve been a victim not once but twice of racism. I couldn’t believe it and I’m not going to stand by and allow someone to treat me or anyone disrespectful because of my color. Don’t judge a cover of a book cause of its looks cause everyone has white or brown or black in them.. or relatives that are of different ethnicity ..

        We are in 2020 n of course the both White Supermacists are coming out of closets very bold and of course black brown are not going to allow these evil human acts to continue!

        All humans need to change their ways of upbringing especially racists kind!! There is NO room now for all the nonsense!!

        1. White Supremacists?
          I, personally, have never met anyone in my lifetime who was motivated by seeing the white race gain some sot of authority over other races.
          Greed, yes.
          Avarice, sure.
          Naked ambition, you bet.
          Racial superiority? Never seen that, how’s it pay? In my lifetime I’ve been in the back of the line for everything and worked super hard for every success, and failure.

        2. We are in 2020 n of course the both White Supermacists are coming out of closets very bold and of course black brown are not going to allow these evil human acts to continue!



          What do you think the knockout game is? How about the crime reports recording far more black crimes against whites than the other way around? Black on white rape is common. White on black rape is so unusual it barely moves the meter.

          Stop whining. It is getting annoying you big baby.

  3. There are a lot of misinform idiots out there who are so stupid that they the get ride of white or any other race of Police officers that anarchy will reign. WAKE UP.

  4. The entire western coast is unsafe for visiting or living in under any definition.

    1. She’s the kind of person who would help to send her own race to be gassed thinking the Nazis wont touch her because she proved she’s on their side! She just proved how truly ugly inside and out this cow is!!!

      1. Rita- she doesn’t realize that she would be the very first batch to be rounded up and sent to the trench line for execution or re-education work camps. Those who help a regime to gain governmental powers are generally the first to be executed, because they will be a threat to the new regime. Even now, BLM/ANTIFA supporters cry foul when they get attacked by the very group they support, “hey I’m on your side” SMACK!

      2. According to Churchill, “an appeaser is one who feeds a crocodile, hoping it will eat him last.”

    2. MICHAEL its like that everywhere in america ,and has been for FIFTY YEARS or more now,LOOK at the 90 year old woman in CHATSWORTH GEORGIA.. cutting FLOWERS in the woods,SHE was attacked,beaten and tazered by the local hero’s,THEN THEY TOOK her to jail for tresspassing…THE HERO’S OF AMERICA ARE ALL SATANS WOLFPACK,and satan knows it AMERICANS ARE ALL DEVIL WORSHIPPERS..

      1. eh, charges were dropped, but it was a senile 90 year old muslim woman with a knife trespassing on private property

  5. DB–If the article about this study is accurate, there is a serious lack of scholarship. The question of why police kill a higher percentage of blacks than whites cannot be answered with statistical models unless those models include consideration of a number of factors that apparently were not considered by the professor.

    For example, why there are there so many black-on-black murders in some of our large cities? It cannot be because of police bigotry on which the professor seems to hang his hat. Is it because there is a large number of black thugs and gang members who live in these areas (and spoil it for everyone else) that are violent and armed and choose to live that way? This could have led the professor to another interesting question: why is there not more a similar number of young white men killing other young white men in “bad” white neighborhoods? I think that the answer would impact any fair analysis of factors that cause police shoot the number of blacks they do?

    And, is it possible that because of the way they are raised (or left to fend for themselves) black men who are stopped by police are more likely to resist arrest than white men? When a person resists arrest, it seems that all bets are off unless we would require our police to engage in hand-to-hand combat instead of using a weapon. How many of the shootings involved black men who were fighting or resisting arrest? And then there is the question of “armed” vs. “unarmed.” In doing his analysis, would the professor have considered Rayshard Brooks armed or unarmed? I bet he would say he was unarmed and put him in that statistical basket because all he had was a taser he took after he beat the officer down. If the female thug who hit the New York police chief in the head with a wooden pole had been shot, would the professor say she was armed or unarmed? If a black man gets an officer down and tries to kick him in the head, is he armed or unarmed? I once saw a police arrest record: “assault with a deadly weapon– shod foot.” Doesn’t the officer have the right to use a weapon to stop an attack that might kill him or her? Exactly what does the professor mean when he says police killed an unarmed person?

    To the extent they rely on anything other than their own feelings, studies like these give impetus to the insane policies that are being enacted in our cities.

    1. What gets me they scream the police are racially profiling them for being black. They need to get over it! I am not black and have been stopped by the police just for walking down the street lots of times! They ask were I’m going and we talk awhile. I don’t take it as being harrassed by the police! They are just doing their jobs which I appreciate! Why is it they get so worked up? Could it be they’ve been doing something wrong and have a reason to feel guilty about? When I get stopped I don’t get defensive because I have a clear conscience so I don’t worry about it!!! Plenty of white get stopped by the police everyday just as much as blacks do but we don’t scream it’s racial profiling!

    2. Did you see Brooks when they were taping him and the police officer was walking up to him? He actually had a great big SMILE on his face!!! I’m sure they cut that out by now but me thinks there is a rotten egg in the bunch!!!!!!!!!!!!

      1. This is a rediculous idea on its face. Why can’t they just reallocate funds to the appropriate services and authorities to alleviate the officers from having to be mental health workers and firemen? Yes firemen. The SPD is sent to put out actual fires when the fire department can’t be bothered. Let’s narrow the focus of police officers’ duties so that Seattle resident don’t have to wait 12 plus hours for an officer to respond to a break in because the officers are tied up with non criminal calls. This city council woman needs to step down.

        1. …and here you have it, the double standards that liberals and progressives embrace. “I am for Black Lives because they have been discriminated against in our country for decades!? So, what’s her solution: Discrimination. And the problem is not that there are too many of these dUckheads like her running around, it’s the people of Seattle who elected her. They deserve what they get now.

    3. “The question of why police kill a higher percentage of blacks than whites cannot be answered with statistical models unless those models include consideration of a number of factors that apparently were not considered by the professor.”


      Maybe p hacking at work resulting in a bogus study.

    4. Generally agree, but the “higher percentage of blacks killed” argument you cite is completely misleading. More whites than blacks are killed every year by police action (on the other hand, BLM this year has killed far more whites than blacks; let that sink in).. The “percentage” notion comes from the fact that the overall black population number less than the overall white population, but so what? The “percentage” angle is simply yet another way for the insurrectionists to ramp up fear and loathing.. Also it must always be pointed out, as your comment states, that the killings by and large from resisting arrest, trying to flee the scene, etc. In other words, the “victims” (including George Floyd), are usually criminals committing crimes! Now, that doesn’t mean Floyd should have died when and how he did (based on what we know), but as Chris Rock stated in his video “How to Keep Police From Kicking Your Ass”, Rule #1 is “Don’t Commit Crimes!” We can stand against what happened to Floyd without celebrating him as some kind of community hero. He was not, Pelosi and her bestowal of the folded flag notwithstanding.

  6. with ideas like this, Ms Herbold has no business running the business of anything. All she needs, aside from common sense, is knowledge of contracts and law. The Seattle Police Department employs a union under contract, where seniority is protected, meaning the white cops aren’t going anywhere. If she has half a brain and actually knows this, her stance is no more than hyperbole and verbal hand-grenades dropped over the wall to cause reaction. She is the worst kind of politician.

    1. She’s 53. She’s been employed by the city council for 23 year, first on the staff, then as a member.

  7. Why we still continue to ignore the fact that this is all mainly being perpetrated by the helicoptered, and that for the most part those bowing down are just the right age to be the parents that helicoptered them is a head scratcher. This isn’t about justice or change, it’s about the fact that a lot of those kids are legit unbalanced due to their upbringings and their parents are the perpetrators. This was all probably inevitable given the absolutely horrendous parenting trends of the past few decades and society’s complete willingness to capitulate. It’s time to stop capitulating. This is not ‘normal’ youthful ignorance we are seeing and have been for years. Society is imposing and it is largely because nearly an entire generation is unstable and their parents and elders will only ever say, ‘It’s ok. You be you. We’ll just sue anyone that disagrees.’. That parent-child dynamic also largely runs Silicon Valley, media, et. al. If we don’t speak up and act, that will simply be our country.

    1. There are no juvenile delinquents; there are only delinquent parents. The Fourth Commandment, “Honor thy father and thy mother,” is hardly ever quoted today as the means of restoring domestic peace. If discipline in the home is neglected, it is rarely made up for later. As Coleridge said: “If you bring up your children in a way which puts them out of sympathy with the religious feelings of the nations in which they live, the chances are that they will ultimately turn out ruffians and fanatics, and one as likely as the other.”

      Archbishop Fulton Sheen, 1949, “Way to Happiness”, Chapter 26: Parents and Children

      1. Anon– It’s a nice thought and easy for a good person to accept, but I suspect it is wrong. Some kids are simply rotten even in families where the parents are decent and other children in the same family grow up to be very good people.

        1. Haven’t seen rotten in decent families, but I have seen rotten in passable families, with one child was a ruin while the others were…passable. In one family I knew well, the mother and father failed to sanction a misbehaving daughter at any time of her life. The thing is, the daughter was so perverse and willful, their carelessness was (one might wager) not decisive.

          You influence your children, you don’t control them.

    2. It’s also because these kids are no longer on their ADD medication the schools forced on those kids. Now they’re in society and left to themselves without the meds and brainwashing from their teachers and this is what we got!!!

  8. She’s obviously Antifa Communist scum who’s trying to start a race war. She obviously Hates America and black people because blacks are only about 13% of the population and would lose a race war in America. But her efforts won’t work because the vast majority of Americans are not racist.

  9. Why do white people have to walk on PC egg shells lest they be doing something racist when every day the racism of black leaders is thrown in our faces and we are expected to take it without comment? When the white Governor criticized her lack of leadership, the Baltimore mayor launched her racist attack on white men: “”There’s no way that I would be able to help people, to rise to become the mayor of my hometown, to become the first African-American woman to become president of the U.S. Conference of Mayors … if I gave space in my life to the unbounded criticism of the White men that I’ve encountered in my life.” If it wasn’t for the white men who were in positions of power in the 1960s, the mayor would have no chance of being Mayor of Baltimore, but, she, the Mayor of Chicago and so many others feel no gratitude, only hatred.

    1. honestlawyer – you know if you look deep in your soul you will find the answer to that question. 😉

        1. honestlawyer – now you will be forced to read White Fragility and confess your sins.

    2. what a lovely human being she is
      so dark inside and her tate for clothes is cheap
      her parents brought her up hating and she should go
      but i doubt it…seattle will sink in that water behind her

  10. She’s obviously Antifa Communist scum trying to start a race war. It won’t work. She’s just evil.

    1. Pretty much. If you had any doubts that common-and-garden Democratic politicians were malevolent, the events of the last two months should have disabused you of it. And someone is financing these siege protests. That person ought to be on trial, but he lives in London.

      1. absurd x– if that someone in London is the one I’m thinking of, he just financed the campaign of a candidate for Travis County (Austin) district attorney who won the primary against a very seasoned opponent and will be elected in November since only democrats win races in Travis County. The new DA to be has the same philosophy as yhe county prosecutor in Saint Louis. Soon, working hand in glove with the extremely woke city council, Austin will go down the tubes, completing a slide it began several years ago.

        1. Too bad about Austin. Same for Cook County and San Francisco. If the Republicans would act it might not be this way but the party is too full of tofu-munching surrender monkeys like Romney to do anything useful.

          Can I still say ‘monkeys’ or is that a racist microaggression now?

        2. We here in Austin are fortunate to have a shield for such silliness that the citizens of Oregon and Washington do not: the Legislature and Governor whose authority supersedes and regularly check our ideologues. It is our saving grace.

          1. Thank goodness for that. Wouldn’t work in Washington or Oregon where the governors are also nuts.

      2. No Democrat is demoocratic. Marxist Leninist and definiitely not qualified to be a citizen of the USA’s Constitutional Republic.

  11. To prevent from being exposed as racists, they need to fire all of the police.

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