Despite opposition from Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan, federal officers have been dispatched to Seattle.
Durkan announced Thursday:
Following my letter earlier this week, I spoke with Acting Secretary Wolf this afternoon – he told me directly that DHS has no plans – and sees no need – to send federal forces to Seattle. He committed to notifying Chief Best and myself should that change.
I made clear to Acting Secretary Wolf that deployments in Seattle — like we have seen in Portland — would undermine public safety and break community trust. DHS now says they have a limited number of agents in the area on standby to protect federal buildings.
Fox News reports a federal government plane landed in Seattle on Thursday, carrying federal agents who will reportedly be on standby ahead of planned weekend protests in the city, authorities said.
King County Executive Dow Constantine said the plane landed at Boeing Field and more than a “dozen personnel drove off to an unknown destination.”
City leaders confirmed that federal officers might be deployed to “protect federal buildings” after they received conflicting reports from the Department of Homeland Security (DHS).
Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan said Acting DHS Secretary Chad Wolf told her Thursday afternoon that the DHS had no plans – and saw no need – to send federal law enforcement to Seattle. That belief apparently changed later in the day.
Washington state Gov. Jay Inslee said he also received conflicting messages from the federal government, adding that his staff was “repeatedly” told there was no surge of additional personnel to Seattle.
“Now we are hearing a different story where they have a limited number of agents who are in the area on standby, if needed,” Inslee tweeted. “I am concerned that anything could aggravate the situation.”
Durkan said that if federal forces intervene in the city, she will seek to limit their actions.
“A federal judge in Portland has entered an order limiting the actions of federal forces there,” she wrote. “We are prepared to seek the same relief if necessary.”