A tactical group of border agents stationed in Seattle last week to help protect federal property has left for the city, officials said.
Seattle Mayor Jenny Durcan said the Department of Homeland Security had informed her of the move. A special response team was sent to the city last week as the Trump administration continues to defend federal government intervention as an effort to restore law and order amid ongoing protests in several cities.
“@DHSgov informed me that federal forces stationed in Seattle had been demobilized and left,” Durkan wrote. “The president’s actions to target democratic cities with federal forces are causing a cold and increasing violence in Portland, Seattle and other cities ̵1; exactly what the president planned.
MAJOR OF THE SITTING COUNCIL, WORLD MEMBERS SEE OFFENSIVE DISHES WRITTEN BY INTERNAL HOUSEHOLDS: ‘TASK B — —
In his tweets, Durkan said that decisions about law enforcement should be made by Police Chief Carmen Best, not President Trump. Agents were transferred to Seattle to protect federal property after unrest after weeks of demonstrations and the occupation of a so-called autonomous protest zone, where police and other first responders were denied entry.
In his testimony to the House Judiciary Committee on Tuesday, Attorney General Bill Barr claimed that “violent riots and anarchists” had sparked legitimate protests, especially mentioning the ongoing alarm in Portland, Oregon. every night.
Durkan, along with other mayors of large cities, denied the presence of federal agents in its jurisdiction. Opponents say the alleged harsh tactics used by federal agents have only fueled tensions between protesters and the authorities.
The move, they said, was taken without the consent or consultation of state and local officials.
“The president’s actions to target democratic cities through the use of federal forces are causing a cold and increasing violence in Portland, Seattle (and) other cities – exactly what the president wanted,” Durcan wrote in another tweet.
Gov. Jay Inley, a Democrat, also praised the withdrawal of federal forces.
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“This means that Washington no longer needs to worry about the White House’s intention to provoke confrontation and undermine peaceful protests,” he tweeted.
A total of 80 Seattle police officers were injured over the weekend, one of whom required hospitalization, according to city and local authorities. Other injuries included bruises, abrasions, burns and a torn meniscus, but many officers were able to return to work. Some rioters set fire to a portable trailer and threw an explosive device at a police station, while authorities used explosive bullets, sponge sponges and an aerosol spray to disperse protesters.
Almost 50 people were arrested.
Ronn Blitzer and Fox News’ s Steven Soratio contributed to this report.