Seattle moves to quash old low-level misdemeanor warrants
SEATTLE (AP) — Seattle city attorneys have asked a court to quash over 200 misdemeanor arrest warrants, in what officials described as low-level, nonviolent cases older than five years.
The Seattle Times reports the motion, filed Tuesday in Seattle Municipal Court, includes 107 people charged or convicted of prostitution offenses and 73 of third-degree driving with a suspended license, a violation often referred to as “driving while poor.”
Mayor Jenny Durkan said Tuesday that more than 40 percent of the warrants have fallen on people of color, including 35 percent on African Americans, though they make up 7 percent of the city’s population.
Durkan said removing the warrants would make the community safer, giving police more time to focus on serious crimes.
Seattle Municipal Court judges agreed in September to vacate convictions and dismiss charges for misdemeanor marijuana possession prosecuted before pot was legalized in Washington state.
Information from: The Seattle Times, http://www.seattletimes.com