Panel suggests Seattle should allow drinking in designated parks

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SEATTLE (AP) — Seattle’s Community Police Commission has recommended the city allow public drinking in in designated areas as a way to cut down on unequal enforcement.

The Seattle Times reports (http://bit.ly/23LmkNU ) that the commission suggested the areas would operate like bring-your-own-bottle beer gardens and would help police issue fewer public-drinking citations, which data suggests are disproportionately given to black and Native American people in Seattle.

According to an analysis released by the commission on Friday, police sent 637 alcohol-related public-consumption citations to Seattle Municipal Court between Jan. 1, 2013, and August 31, 2014. Of those, 23 percent people cited were black and 13 percent were Native American, though they make up 8 percent and 1 percent of the population, respectively.