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The Department of Justice (DOJ) has recently designated New York City, Portland, and Seattle as jurisdictions that "have permitted violence and destruction of property to persist and have refused to undertake reasonable measures," according to a recent press release.
The list of cities was published on the DOJ website Monday in response to President Donald Trump's memorandum date September 2, 2020, called: “Memorandum on Reviewing Funding to State and Local Government Recipients That Are Permitting Anarchy, Violence, and Destruction in American Cities.”
“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,” said Attorney General William P. Barr.
“We cannot allow federal tax dollars to be wasted when the safety of the citizenry hangs in the balance. 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.”
The DOJ provided justifications for why they have decided to move forward in addressing these three cities.
New York City
The department reported that "shootings in New York City have been on the rise since looting and protests began on or about May 28, 2020. For July 2020, shootings increased from 88 to 244, an increase of 177 percent over July 2019. In August 2020, shootings increased from 91 to 242, a 166 percent increase over August 2019."
"While the city faced increased unrest, gun violence, and property damage, the New York City Council cut $1 billion from NYPD’s FY21 budget."
"Meanwhile, the Manhattan and Brooklyn District Attorneys have declined to prosecute charges of disorderly conduct and unlawful assembly arising from the protests, and the District Attorneys in Queens and the Bronx have declined to prosecute other protest-related charges."
"Shootings increased by more than 140 percent in June and July 2020 compared to the same period last year."
"In the midst of this violence, the Portland City Council cut $15 million from the police bureau, eliminating 84 positions. Crucially, the cuts included the Gun Violence Reduction Team, which investigates shootings, and several positions from the police team that responds to emergency incidents."
"For nearly a month, starting in June, the City of Seattle permitted anarchists and activists to seize six square blocks of the city’s Capitol Hill neighborhood, naming their new enclave the 'Capitol Hill Autonomous Zone' (CHAZ) and then the 'Capitol Hill Occupied Protest” (CHOP).'"
"Person-related crime in the CHOP increased 525 percent from the same period of time in the same area the year before, including by Mayor Durkan’s own count 'two additional homicides, 6 additional robberies, and 16 additional aggravated assaults (to include 2 additional non-fatal shootings).'"
The CHOP was reportedly allowed to continue for nearly a month, resulting in the shooting deaths of two teenagers.