Yakima City Council no longer pursuing creation of inclusive policing ordinance
YAKIMA, Wash.--Yakima city leaders will no longer be creating a policy that ensures residents, regardless of immigration status, would have their rights protected when interacting with law enforcement.
The issue of inclusive policing is off the table for the council.
It comes after a 4-to-2 vote Tuesday night to end those talks, but the topic itself wasn't originally on the agenda.
"There was still much more work to done on this ordinance so the vote that took place yesterday was premature," said council member Dulce Gutierrez.
Gutierrez and council member Carmen Mendez had been working on the ordinance which ensures all residents, regardless of immigration status, protection of their rights when coming in contact with law enforcement.
But council members who didn't want to pursue it further say there are other issues that need to be addressed.
"We've had a number of people come, both pro and con, and we think it is time to move on to the business at hand of running the city of Yakima," said mayor Kathy Coffey.
On Wednesday, One America advocates protested against the decision at Performance Park.
Prior to the decision, Gutierrez says she worked with Yakima Police to get the wording right.
"If someone is a citizen of another country we have to notify certain countries if that person is placed into custody. So with the restrictions on the ordinance, we would not have been allowed to do that," said Yakima police Chief Dominic Rizzi.
Gutierrez added this was not related to sanctuary city talks the council has wrestled with for a number of months.
"This ordinance is specifically oriented around public safety and the police department and the interactions with law enforcement and residents in the city. This ordinance is not a sanctuary policy," she said.
But Coffey said it may have led council down a road they might not have wanted.
"By doing the ordinance, it puts us in a position where it could be interpreted to put us a category of sanctuary cities," Coffey said.
Topics that still seem to be on the minds of many in the community.
Both Gutierrez and Coffey both say they don't anticipate the issue of inclusive policing being brought up again in the near future.