Durkan: Federal forces deployed to Seattle have demobilized and left

Durkan: Federal forces deployed to Seattle have demobilized and left
Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan during a news conference in Seattle on July 1, 2020.

SEATTLE — Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan says the Department of Homeland Security notified her on Tuesday that the federal forces recently deployed to Seattle have demobilized and left.

A team of tactical border officers was sent to Seattle on Thursday.

The move came one day after President Donald Trump and Attorney General William Barr announced that federal agents were being deployed to Chicago and Albuquerque, New Mexico, to help fight rising crime.

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Nearly four dozen people were arrested, and more than 55 officers were injured Saturday after protests in Seattle turned violent with trailers set on fire, windows at businesses smashed, cars damaged, and explosive devices thrown at police.

“The President’s actions to target Democratic cities through the use of federal forces is chilling and increased violence in Portland, Seattle (and) other cities – exactly what the President wanted,” Durkan said in a tweet on Tuesday.

Upon learning of the deployment of federal officers last week, Durkan, Gov. Jay Inslee and other local officials expressed significant concern and said the move was made without the consultation or consent of state and local officials.

On Friday, Durkan, King County Executive Dow Constantine, King County Prosecutor Dan Satterberg and Seattle City Attorney Pete Holmes delivered a letter to U.S. Attorney Brian Moran, the U.S. Department of Justice and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security to seek a clarification on their potential actions in Seattle.

“This demobilization means Washingtonians no longer have to worry about the White House’s aim to provoke confrontation and undermine peaceful protests,” Inslee said in a statement Tuesday.

In a follow-up tweet, Inslee echoed Durkan’s assertion that the deployment was made by the White House to “provoke confrontation and undermine peaceful protests.”

“Those peacefully protesting have raised the public’s consciousness of the urgent need for racial justice, and I have no doubt they will continue to use their voices to call for action,” Inslee said. “We must continue making progress toward a better and more just Washington for everyone.”

This is a developing story. Please check back for updates.