Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan (D) told CNN’s Cuomo Prime Time on Friday that President Trump was “leveraging his power … for his own purposes,” contending that federal agents have “escalated” violence in cities such as Portland “night after night after night” and proclaiming that the very “fabric of America is being shredded before our eyes.”
“We have to assume what’s happening in Portland could happen here,” Durkan said, blaming federal agents for the chaos in Portland and accusing them of creating a “public safety risk.”
She told CNN’s Chris Cuomo:
You have seen the introduction of a significant number of federal agents who night after night after night have escalated violence and have had a fight, a running fight, on Portland that has created there a public safety risk and has made the city — it’s incapable for them to move on and get to the healing they need and do what they need to do to make important systemic changes that people are demanding in the streets. And in Seattle, we want to make sure that doesn’t happen here.
“The president has also said that he’s targeting cities led by Democratic mayors. … He is leveraging his power — just as you said before — for his own purposes,” she said.
Durkan told Cuomo that we are “going the wrong way in America,” adding, “Instead of giving us the help we need, he wants to send in federal forces and federal agents to escalate tensions.”
“Not only do cities not need it, but America also doesn’t need it,” the mayor asserted.
Durkan, who was a federal prosecutor, told Cuomo she has “never seen anything like this in [her] career, where federal agents are sent in, not even, not with the cooperation of local law enforcement, but over their objection.”
“It’s unprecedented, and it’s the wrong way to go. The fabric of America is being shredded before our eyes, Chris, and it worries me greatly,” she added:
"We have to assume what's happening in Portland could happen here."
Seattle's Democratic Mayor Jenny Durkan says she does not want federal agents in her city as they are creating a "public safety risk" and a "dangerous escalation" in Portland. pic.twitter.com/UrTHq86o6Z
— Cuomo Prime Time (@CuomoPrimeTime) July 25, 2020
Durkan’s remarks come on the heels of chaos and violence within her own city, which came in the form of the Capitol Hill Organized Protest (CHOP), formerly known as CHAZ. For weeks, Durkan allowed demonstrators to seize a section of the city in protest. She eventually ordered the dismantlement of the area after reports of continued violence, rape, robbery, assault, increased gang activity, and murder continued to pour in.
Tensions have been escalating in Seattle and other Democrat-controlled cities in recent days. Seattle Police declared a riot and arrested dozens after a protest turned violent in a Seattle neighborhood on Saturday as demonstrators assaulted police, striking them with “explosives, rocks, bottles, and wood,” according to the SPD Blotter. Police made a slew of arrests, 59 officers were injured, and at least one officer was hospitalized:
Re: officer injuries — One officer hospitalized with leg injury caused by an explosive. Two other officers treated/returned to duty.
— Seattle Police Dept. (@SeattlePD) July 26, 2020
Acting Homeland Security Secretary Chad Wolf reportedly told Mayor Durkan they would not be deploying federal officers to her city without communicating with local officials.
“There is no large-scale deployment of personnel to Seattle at this time. As threats warrant, any large-scale use of law enforcement assets will involve close coordination with local law enforcement,” DHS spokesperson Alexei Woltornist said.
“There are no other cities across the country that have the same threats and lack of local law enforcement support as we are experiencing in Portland,” Woltornist added.