Seattle Mayor Believes Federal Deployments Are Part Of A Darker Political Goal


Kinds of tensions in Seattle. Clashes between protesters and police turned violent last weekend, but Seattle's Democratic mayor, Jenny Durkin, told the Department of Homeland Security she did not want federal agents sent into her city. She later discovered a force was deployed and put on standby. Now they have left. Mayor Durkin spoke with our co host, Rachel Martin, about why she and other mayors feel these federal deployments. Part of a bigger, darker political goal. We have, like any other city. We have public safety challenges. But our public safety challenges have been made significantly worse by this president's actions in his words, the dinner in level of criminal activity. We're really deteriorated after the president started tweeting about it, and it was a subject to have Fox coverage every night. So we have seen and I've talked to mayors across the country the same thing when the president actually tweets, and it's not my words saying he's targeting death City is run by Democrats. He's openly admitted it and tweeted about it. Um And I think that that is really a chilling prospect of a president. United States, which is federal resource is for political purposes. The Department of Justice has said that there is an expansion happening right that all of this the deployment of federal agents to a variety of cities Now we're seeing Chicago Albuquerque, Kansas City now Milwaukee, Detroit, Cleveland. This is all part of so called Operation legend that this has to do with gun violence, quelling gun violence in these cities helping solve murders. This's the DOJ zone characteristic of what this operation is about. I guess I'm hoping you can clarify for me. Is this operation legend something that's happening? Adjacent, separate from from the agents that had been deployed to Portland. And for a couple of days, at least this standby force to Seattle. I actually think they're using it as camouflage. There are ongoing task force in major cities, the deal with gun violence and with gang violence and other violent crime. We had him in Seattle and I worked on him is U. S attorney I know I've spoken with the mayor of Chicago and Albuquerque, and they have a strong collaborative approach with federal law enforcement. It is very rare. If it all federal law enforcement will surge agents to a city to deal with public safety threats that are normally handled by city or state officials. Without talking to or working with local officials. You have described what President Trump is doing as being a political ploy to play his own base ahead of the election into some kind of law and order message. As as a former U. S attorney for the Western District of Washington is anything he's doing or the federal government at his behest illegal. I think it could be unconstitutional. Under the 11th Amendment. Remember, public safety is generally reserved to the states and to their cities, a subdivision of the states by our Constitution. There's also restrictions on the powers that federal law enforcement have and what they can enforce. They generally cannot room the streets of a city in enforce city or state law. But the other thing I will say, though it is unprecedented for federal authorities to take this level of approach for local jurisdictions in cities and Serge Federal resource is in them to take over public safety duties like arresting people. Police protesters. And I've said it before. I know some people think it's it sounds overdramatic, but to me, it looks like a dry run for martial law. And if we see these kinds of federal agents put into places where there's voting right concerns I'm very concerned about what it could do to suppress the vote in America. Say more about that. You're worried that in places where there might be concerns about whether or not people get access to the polls, right? I mean, if you look at it now, the places that that they're sending these Federal agents are primarily in places where there are significant protests against police violence and for racial equity. And it doesn't take much of a lead to also used those agents to say You're protecting the poles but have federal agents in and around polling places, too. Spite against fraud when really a suppression? I think we need a very clear commitment in advance of the election that general law enforcement are not going to be used as some kind of super police. In key battleground states in around you places. You've been talking with different mayor's around the country. Your counterparts in different states. Is that the kind of thing that has come up in conversation with them it has come up. I will tell you were focused day to day on dealing with the crisis in our city. But this kind of action when we feel happening in so many cities across your country, it gives all of us a grave concern is where it is. Jenny Durkan is the mayor of Seattle. We appreciate your time. Thank you for having me

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