U.S. Attorney General Bill Barr has made the decision to designate New York City, Portland, and Seattle as “anarchist jurisdictions.”
The Justice Department announced the major decision on Monday, saying that the cities “permitted violence and destruction of property to persist and have refused to undertake reasonable measures to counteract criminal activities”
Law and order
Over the summer, mayors like Ted Wheeler of Portland, Jenny Durkan of Seattle, and Bill de Blasio of New York City have too often let anarchists and rioters run free and tied the hands of police while businesses and property were destroyed, people were injured, and lives were lost.
Portland, in particular, was hostile to the federal agents who were sent to protect a federal courthouse in the city and basically ran them out of town. A DOJ press release noted that Portland has seen “100 consecutive nights of protests marred by vandalism, chaos, and even killing.”
Ironically, as Barr has pointed out, allowing lawlessness to go unchecked has made these places unsafe for protesters, as well.
“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,” Barr said in the press release.
“We cannot allow federal tax dollars to be wasted when the safety of the citizenry hangs in the balance,” Barr continued. “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.”
Trump takes action
While President Donald Trump’s options are limited in dealing with Democrat-led cities and states who refuse federal law enforcement assistance, Trump does have control over federal funding.
The president has promised the American people that he would hold the mayors of Democrat cities accountable and threatened to withhold federal funding from cities that refuse to stop the violence and protect their citizens.
The DOJ’s decision came in response to a September 2 memo, in which Trump declared, “My Administration will not allow Federal tax dollars to fund cities that allow themselves to deteriorate into lawless zones.”
The president ordered a review of all federal funds that go to cities and states that “have contributed to the violence and destruction in their jurisdictions by failing to enforce the law, disempowering and significantly defunding their police departments, and refusing to accept offers of Federal law enforcement assistance.”