(KOMO) – A King County judge has ruled that a recall petition filed against Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan over her handling of recent police brutality claims can proceed.
The decision, handed down on Friday, gives petitioners the green light to start gathering the signatures needed to place the measure on the ballot. The plaintiffs behind the request will have to gather more than 50,000 signatures in order to force the election.
A spokesperson for the mayor on Saturday rejected the claims.
“In the midst of unprecedented challenges for the City, Mayor Durkan consistently has acted to protect the City’s public health and safety and to respect the constitutional rights of peaceful protestors. She also believes Chief Best has exercised her challenging duties lawfully and appropriately to protect the public peace," the spokesperson said in a written statement. "At this stage, the Court is required to accept the petition’s allegations as factually true. Even under this low standard, the Court dismissed six of the seven claims in the petition, in addition to dismissing outright another petition. The Mayor believes the remaining claim will be dismissed. "
The plaintiffs in the case filed seven charges against Durkan in the pleadings but of those charges, the King County Superior Court judge found that only one was applicable to support the recall election: the use of chemical agents against street violence that erupted in Seattle during protests over the death of George Floyd in May.
Police in Seattle used pepper spray and flash bangs to help quell the riots in Seattle, which lasted for several days following the death of Floyd by four officers in Minneapolis,
All of those officers have been fired and are facing criminal charges.
Following the judge's ruling, petitioners now have 180 days to gather more than 56,000 signatures from registered voters in Seattle, which is 25 percent of the total votes she received during the 2017 election.
The recall effort is known as the “Fire the Mayor” campaign.