On Friday, Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan, who celebrated the Capitol Hill Autonomous Zone by comparing it to the “Summer of Love,” ripped President Trump’s use of federal forces to quell the chaos in her city, snapping, “The fabric of America is being shredded before our eyes.”
CNN host Chris Cuomo began the segment by complaining about the federal forces on the ground in Seattle, “They were not asked to come. That’s how it’s supposed to work. The State leaders are supposed to ask for Federal help.”
Cuomo welcomed Durkan by referencing her much-criticized comment. “So much for the ‘Summer of Love,’ I mean, this just keeps getting worse and worse,” he said.
Durkan stated that Acting DHS Secretary Chad Wolf “believes he did not have all the information when he spoke to me” about sending troops to Seattle.
“So, he’s a cover guy, Wolf,” Cuomo replied. “Well, look, it all depends. One thing you can — that’s consistent about this President is inconsistency.”
Durkan admitted that the federal agents were on standby. She posited that despite the fact that the Federal Protection Service is only called out if there is a specific threat, Seattle could resemble Portland.
Then she hurled these charges against federal officers: “[Y]ou 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 …”
Ironically, in June, Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler slammed Durkan’s Seattle, asserting:
I do not want an autonomous zone set up in Portland. I’m watching what’s going on in Seattle, and I’m not impressed. I think it’s a distraction from the larger movement, and the movement is justice for black people. What I’m hearing coming out of Seattle concerns me. Armed people walking around in the autonomous zone? People being asked to show their papers and demonstrate where they’re from at the entrance to the autonomous zone? Businesses being potentially shaken down to be allowed to operate within the autonomous zone? So if you’re asking if that’s something I support, let me be unequivocally clear: I absolutely do not support that. And I do believe that it’s a distraction from the larger movement, which is to support and uplift black voices in our community.
Durkan said to Cuomo that the president “has also said that he’s targeting cities led by Democratic Mayors, and I think that’s absolutely true.”
“He is leveraging his power, just as you said before, for his own purposes,” she alleged. “Instead of giving us the help he needs (sic), he wants to send in Federal forces and Federal agents to escalate tensions. Not only do cities not need it, America doesn’t need it. This is one of the most dangerous escalations.”
“I was a Federal Prosecutor,” she asserted. “I know how important it is for Federal Law Enforcement to work with Local Law Enforcement. As the Chief Federal Law Enforcement Officer, as U.S. Attorney, I know that that’s an important relationship.”
“I’ve never seen anything like this, in my career, where Federal agents are sent in, not even, not with the cooperation of Local Law Enforcement, but over their objection,” she pontificated. “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.”
Cuomo then championed the protesters, concluding, “This is the stuff of autocrats, and we’re going to have to see if the institutions of this society and the will of people in these jurisdictions is enough to fight it back. We’ll see.”
Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan: "The fabric of America is being shredded before our eyes." pic.twitter.com/Q4DQ07ptap
— The Hill (@thehill) July 25, 2020
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