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Federal agents from the Department of Homeland Security have left the Seattle area today. Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan confirmed that the Border Patrol Tactical Unit has demobilized and departed, according to a press release from the governor's office.
This comes after officials in Washington State last week noted their concerns at having federal agents in that city to protect federal property. Governor Jay Inslee and Durkan had issued a letter to US Attorney Brian Moran, the US Department of Justice, and the US Department of Homeland Security asking for insight as to the plans for the federal agents' deployment in Seattle.
Inslee said that "This demobilization means Washingtonians no longer have to worry about the White House's aim to provoke confrontation and undermine peaceful protests."
This despite the fact that rioting over the weekend in Seattle led to the injury of 12 Seattle police officers, and the intentional targeting of city council members and their homes.
Additionally, the Seattle Police Department issued body cam footage to show that officers were indeed under attack by a mob. Rioters have insisted that the federal agents leave the city. Yet despite this demand being met, Inslee does not expect them to leave Seattle in peace.
"Those peacefully protesting have raised the public's consciousness of the urgent need for racial justice, and I have no doubt they will continue to use their voices to call for action. We must continue making progress toward a better and more just Washington for everyone."
Durkan called out US President Donald Trump for having asked the officers to protect federal property in Seattle in the first place. "The president’s actions to target and 'dominate' Democratic cities through the use of federal forces is chilling," she said.
"It has increased violence in Portland, Seattle and other cities across the country, which was what the president intended. Policing decisions in Seattle should be made by Chief Best–not Donald Trump, and we can rest assured that they will be. We will continue to heed this moment in history and to work with the community to make systemic and generational changes to make Seattle more just."
Despite Durkan's comment that Seattle Police Chief Carmen Best should be handing the policing decisions, Best issued a letter to businesses and residents saying that her officers would not be able to protect them during the ongoing rioting and violence.
Additionally, her hands were tied by City Council, which banned officers from using less-lethal force.
Durkan was unable to control riot activity in her city when a group of occupiers cordoned off a section of downtown Seattle, renaming it the Capitol Hill Occupied Protest. This area saw violence, shootings, and two teens murdered.
Antifa members in Seattle have actively made lists of businesses to target with violence and arson.
It is not yet known if the meeting of this demand for the removal of federal officers will result in a diminishment of violence.