In a Sept. 21 announcement, DOJ officials suggested that all the "protesting" – meaning chaos, looting and rioting – has so degraded the quality of life in these cities that they can no longer be regarded as existing under the rule of law, especially since government officials are doing nothing to clean up the streets.
"When state and local leaders impede their own law enforcement officers and agencies from doing their jobs, it endangers innocent citizens who deserve to be protected, including those who are trying to peacefully assemble and protest," stated Attorney General William Barr.
"We cannot allow federal tax dollars to be wasted when the safety of the citizenry hangs in the balance," he added. "It is my hope that the cities identified by the Department of Justice today will reverse course and become serious about performing the basic function of government and start protecting their own citizens."
Following Barr's announcement, Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan, Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler, and New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio – all Democrats – issued their own joint statement suggesting that the Trump administration's efforts to strip federal funding from their respective cities is "thoroughly political and unconstitutional."
"The President is playing cheap political games with Congressionally directed funds," they contend. "Our cities are bringing communities together; our cities are pushing forward after fighting back a pandemic and facing the worst financial crisis since the Great Depression, all despite recklessness and partisanship from the White House."
"What the Trump Administration is engaging in now is more of what we've seen all along: shirking responsibility and placing blame elsewhere to cover its failure," they added.
In her own separate statement to The Epoch Times, Durkan suggested that by trying to defund her city rather than just the police, President Trump is engaging in a "gross misuse of federal power."
"Trump, the Department of Justice, and Barr's obsession with Seattle and me is irrational and most importantly, a huge distraction," she is quoted as saying.
Durkan went on to explain that regardless of what Trump does, her city will continue to remain focused in addressing what she described as "the four crises in front of us: the COVID-19 pandemic, an unprecedented economic downturn, the greatest civil rights reckoning in decades, and the continued threat of climate change."
De Blasio had similar things to say, arguing that there is no anarchy in NYC because upon visiting a borough of Queens on Sept. 21 he personally "saw anything but anarchy."
The DOJ's designation of these three far-left cities comes on the heels of a memo issued by Trump back on Sept. 2 directing his administration to reevaluate the allocation of federal funds to several of the "hot" cities where "protests" were creating mass chaos, destruction and death.
Several of the criteria used to determine whether or not a city "permit anarchy and destruction" included looking at which jurisdictions forbade police officers from intervening to restore order; which jurisdictions slashed funding to police departments; and which jurisdictions refused assistance from the federal government to try to fix the problem.
Portland, Seattle, and NYC have all seen skyrocketing crime in recent weeks, including not just property destruction and thefts but also violent behavior like assaults, rapes and murders. The mayors of all three cities have nevertheless declared that they "are not President Trump's political pawns," and will not be deterred from continuing on with business as usual.
They whined, along with Washington, D.C., Mayor Muriel Bowser, that Trump is "attack[ing]" them with "unlawful" and "unconstitutional" threats of federal defunding.
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Sources for this article include: