Dear Mayor Selby and City Council members,
My name is [YOUR NAME], and I'm a resident of Olympia. I'm writing to you today to urge you to defund the Olympia Police Department.
The OPD has a legacy of discrimination and injustice when it comes to dealing with People of Color in our community, especially Black people. Numerous incidents come to mind, from the shooting of Andre and Bryson by officer Ryan Donald a few years ago, to the lack of investigation into the death of Yvonne McDonald. On May 31st, officer K. Hull made a massively inappropriate joke about putting her knee on the neck of an unlawfully arrested Woman of Color, and a few days later officer T. Coates posed for a picture with white supremacists. These officers should never have had power or authority in our community, and they should not still have it now. These acts and incidents betray a deeply rooted OPD culture of racism and discrimination.
According to the 2020 Preliminary Operating Budget, OPD is allocated approximately $20.5 million. This money could be much more effectively used for a multitude of causes, such as affordable housing, harm reduction, reparations towards our Black, Indigenous, and otherwise racialized community members, public health, food security, and sustainable and environmentally responsible responses to climate change.
I demand that the OPD be defunded and disarmed, and their budget instead put towards any of these other causes. This is a way that the City of Olympia can do the right thing and work towards justice.
[YOUR NAME][YOUR ADDRESS]
[YOUR EMAIL][YOUR PHONE NUMBER]