The mayors of Seattle, Portland, and New York described the actions of Federal authorities as “politicized and unconstitutional.”
The US Department of Justice said authorities in three American cities have allowed prolonged violence and property destruction and threatened to cut federal funding if they don’t take steps to restore law and order.
According to a press release from the Department, we are talking about New York, Portland, and Seattle.
“When state and municipal leaders prevent law enforcement officials and agencies themselves from doing their jobs, it threatens innocent citizens who deserve protection, including those who try to hold peaceful gatherings and protest,” attorney General William Barr said.
“We cannot allow federal taxes to be wasted when the safety of citizens hangs in the balance,” he added. “I hope that the cities indicated today by the Department of justice will change course and begin to take the basic functions of government seriously and begin to protect their citizens.”
Portland mayor Ted Wheeler, his New York counterpart Bill de Blasio, and Seattle mayor Jenny Durkan issued a joint response to the Justice Department’s statement.
“This is a politicized and unconstitutional step. The President is playing cheap political games with the help of funds allocated by the Congress – said in their joint statement. – Our cities are bringing people together. Our cities are moving forward after fighting the pandemic and facing the worst financial crisis since the great depression.”
Mayors accused the Trump administration of recklessness, “shirking responsibility and shifting blame to cover up its failures.”
The DOJ list was compiled in response to a White House memo dated September 2 that directed the Office of Management and budget to consider reducing Federal funding for “anarchist jurisdictions.”
The Ministry of Justice said that the list of cities could be expanded.