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DOJ Designates NYC, Portland and Seattle as “Permitting Anarchy,” paving way for funding cuts

The DOJ announced Monday that 3 cities – NYC, Portland and Seattle have been identified as jurisdictions “permitting violence and destruction of property.”

This comes as Trump has ordered federal agencies to submit potential funding cuts for cities “permitting anarchy.”

“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,” Attorney General William Barr days in a statement.

“We cannot allow federal tax dollars to be wasted when the safety of the citizenry hangs in the balance.” He continues.

“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,” Barr adds.

The DOJ statement also reads:

“The U.S. Department of Justice today identified the following three jurisdictions that have permitted violence and destruction of property to persist and have refused to undertake reasonable measures to counteract criminal activities: New York City; Portland, Oregon; and Seattle, Washington. The Department of Justice is continuing to work to identify jurisdictions that meet the criteria set out in the President’s Memorandum and will periodically update the list of selected jurisdictions as required therein.

The list was published on DOJ’s website today in response to President Trump’s memorandum of September 2, 2020, entitled “Memorandum on Reviewing Funding to State and Local Government Recipients That Are Permitting Anarchy, Violence, and Destruction in American Cities.” 

The statement identifies the criteria for this determination:

  • Whether a jurisdiction forbids the police force from intervening to restore order amid widespread or sustained violence or destruction.
  • Whether a jurisdiction has withdrawn law enforcement protection from a geographical area or structure that law enforcement officers are lawfully entitled to access but have been officially prevented from accessing or permitted to access only in exceptional circumstances, except when law enforcement officers are briefly withheld as a tactical decision intended to resolve safely and expeditiously a specific and ongoing unlawful incident posing an imminent threat to the safety of individuals or law enforcement officers.
  • Whether a jurisdiction disempowers or defunds police departments.
  • Whether a jurisdiction unreasonably refuses to accept offers of law enforcement assistance from the Federal Government.
  • Any other related factors the Attorney General deems appropriate.

The statement then explains specifically how NYC, Portland and Seattle fit the criteria.

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