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Seattle mayor wants to dismiss some misdemeanors

Mayor Durkan and other Seattle leaders want to forgive some low-level misdemeanor warrants.

Mayor Jenny Durkan is pushing for Seattle to clear some misdemeanor warrants.

Durkan spoke Tuesday, flanked by Seattle Police Chief Carmen Best and council members, asking the Seattle Municipal Court to dismiss more than 200 outstanding warrants. The warrants are old offenses, considered low-level, non-violent crimes, such as graffiti, prostitution, loitering, and minors in possession of alcohol.

Durkan said this would allow law enforcement to focus on more serious crimes and address inequities in the criminal justice system.

Councilmember M. Lorena González said Tuesday, "Getting rid of these warrants will promote public safety because it's going to bring folks out who felt that they have been isolated, living in fear that they're gonna get caught and they have this warrant on their record."

González said dismissing low-level misdemeanors could also help some people get better jobs and housing.