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Joint response to the demobilization of federal agents in Seattle

July 28, 2020

Story 

Today, Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan received confirmation that the Department of Homeland Security’s Border Patrol Tactical Unit has demobilized and left the Seattle area.

Last week, Gov. Jay Inslee and local officials expressed significant concerns regarding the deployment of an undetermined number of federal forces to Washington state, without the consultation or consent of state and local officials. On Friday, Durkan, King County Executive Dow Constantine, King County Prosecuting Attorney 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 seeking clarification on the intended scope of 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. "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. We must continue making progress toward a better and more just Washington for everyone."

“The president’s actions to target and ‘dominate’ Democratic cities through the use of federal forces is chilling.  It has increased violence in Portland, Seattle and other cities across the country, which was what the president intended. Policing decisions in Seattle should be made by Chief Best – not Donald Trump, and we can rest assured that they will be,” Durkan said. "We will continue to heed this moment in history and to work with the community to make systemic and generational changes to make Seattle more just."

“The apparent swift departure of Trump’s uninvited and unneeded federal forces is a welcome turn of events. Federalism and the rule of law don't take a break during a presidential election, and the people of King County should be proud of our unwavering support for one another and the Constitution,” Constantine said.

“The specter of inappropriate and unwarranted federal intervention loomed over our heads, so it’s a relief that the infusion of federal law enforcement officers has left Seattle,” said Holmes.

“We should all be outraged at the nightly specter we see in Portland of an unaccountable military force that answers only to the president using excessive force on moms, veterans and citizens with a legitimate grievance against their government,” Satterberg said. “They made everything worse there and they have no exit strategy. This is good news for Seattle, but let’s not lose focus on Portland.”

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