Justice Department Slams New York City, Portland, Seattle for ‘Permitting Anarchy’

Thursday, 24 Sep, 2020

Mr Barr said that he hoped the cities would "reverse course". As he seeks a second term, Trump has campaigned on a law-and-order message, casting inner neighborhoods as centers of violence.

Our federalist system of government, meant to be a stalwart against tyranny by the federal government, has literally been turned on its head by these local officials, who have specifically allowed and encouraged the violation of their citizenry's constitutional rights in the name of a highly politicized and debatable "social justice movement". What the Trump Administration is now engaged in is more of what we have seen all along: shirking transparency and blaming its weakness elsewhere.

This is in response to the consistent social justice protests and riots that have broken out since George Floyd's death in May.

Reacting to the justice department announcement on Monday, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio called the decision "another one of President Trump's games", adding: "It's insulting to the people of New York City and his [Mr Trump's] effort to withhold our funding is unconstitutional".

The cities potentially stand to lose millions in federal funding as a result of the designation, which is likely to set off court battles between the Trump administration and state leaders.

"The president does not have the authority to change the will of Congress", he said.

'If you cannot demonstrate that EPA employees will be safe accessing our City offices, then I will begin the process of looking for a new location for our headquarters outside of the City that can maintain order, ' Wheeler said in his letter obtained by the New York Post.

Department of Justice denied Barr having guided prosecutors to do so. "We need a federal stimulus and we need long-term borrowing".

Seattle, Portland, and New York City eventually made it on AG Barr's final list of so-called "anarchist jurisdictions", with Washington, D.C. left off, despite frequent criticism President Trump has levied toward the city's mayor, Muriel Bowser. In Seattle, the Justice Department cited the area known as the Capitol Hill Occupied Protest, where demonstrations in support of the Black Live Matter movement gave way to violence and destruction of property this summer. In July, Seattle police cleared the scene.

In Portland, which has seen prolonged demonstrations for almost three months, tensions were escalated over the summer when federal officers were deployed there over the wishes of the city's Democratic mayor.

The memo, which cites President Trump's September 2 memo announcing the intent to identify and reprimand "anarchist jurisdictions", fails to mention what funding might be at stake or what the DOJ means by "anarchy".

The criteria include things such as whether a city forbids the police from intervening or whether it defunds its police force. The Seattle Police Department was ordered to abandon its precinct within the CHOP.