Welcome to the Ed Murray Press Conference on crime downtown. I’m happy to take your questions.
Reporter: Jon Scholes of the Downtown Seattle Association has called for more police officers. How many more police officers are you suggesting adding to deal with issues downtown?
Murray: The force needs to first address issues of biased policing and excessive use of force and to rebuild trust in the community. Simply adding officers without reform is not going to get at the problem.
Reporter: So, no new police officers. Sheriff John Urquhart says his wife won’t come downtown because of public urination and people being a nuisance. What’s your plan for that?
City Attorney Pete Holmes: We aren’t going to prosecute those people. They would just be back on the street anyway. Peeing is not a crime.
Reporter: Lisa Daugaard (who’s a key player on the City Center Initiative working to deal with issues downtown) says unquestionably, Mayor McGinn and his senior staff have championed and supported the City Center Initiative, which is the most promising development on making real progress on public order issues for many years.
Murray: Clearly, his plan is flawed. We would do more of it and better.
Reporter: How would you do it better?
Murray: We would collaborate. And so by collaborating the process would be more collaborative.
Reporter: I’m not sure I follow.
City Attorney Pete Holmes: The Mayor and the police keep asking me to prosecute repeat offenders who are a nuisance downtown in a way that I don’t appreciate. That’s divisive.
Reporter: Isn’t doing something about downtown crime the point of this press conference?
Murray: Yes, but if I was Mayor I would ask more nicely. Like over tea.
Holmes: Right. Maybe in the afternoon. Maybe like they do in England.
Reporter: I’m not following. What would you do that’s different than the Mayor?
Murray: We would create a new “Office of Domestic Violence”
Reporter: How many new staff and how much would that cost?
Murray: Oh no, we would just take the staff working on domestic violence now and put them in their own department.
Reporter: What does that do?
Murray: It creates an office with the word “Domestic Violence” in it.
Reporter: What if we just write a headline that says “Murray critical of McGinn on downtown crime.”? We don’t need to be specific.
Murray: That would be perfect. Thank you.