Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan claimed on Monday that the Trump administration had sent federal officers to several Democratic-run cities in order to stage a “dry run for martial law.”
“He’s clearly targeted cities ran by Democratic mayors. He’s said so himself,” Durkan told CNN.
“He’s using law enforcement as a political tool—and I hate to say it, but I really believe that we are seeing the dry run for martial law,” she continued. “This is a president that is using law enforcement and federal forces for political purposes, and that should be chilling to every American.”
Federal officers have been stationed in Seattle and Portland to help control the violent riots taking place in both cities. This weekend alone, more than 60 local police officers in Seattle were injured, and 47 rioters were arrested.
Durkan, however, claimed that the protests were “peaceful,” and that any escalation of violence was President Trump’s fault.
“I believe if you look at what happened yesterday and Sunday again it was peaceful,” she said. “We had a number of peaceful protests, and what we’ve seen is every time this president promises to sow division he’s successful at it.”
Trump explained last week that he had no choice but to send federal officers to Seattle and Portland.
Rioters were attempting to destroy government property, and Democrat officials prevented local law enforcement from doing anything about it.
In Seattle, for example, the city council passed an ordinance forbidding officers from using crowd control tools, such as tear gas.
As a result, Seattle Police Chief Carmen Best notified private business owners that they’d be on their own if rioters turned toward their property.
“Seattle Police will have an adjusted deployment in response to any demonstrations this weekend,” Best told business owners, “as I will never ask our officers to risk their personal safety to protect property without the tools to do so in a safe way.”
Until the attacks stop and the violence comes to an end, federal officers will not leave Portland or Seattle, said acting Department of Homeland Security Chief Chad Wolf.
Their presence does not represent “martial law” or anything like it, Wolf said, but the agents will help restore order whether Democratic officials like it or not, added Trump.
Anarchists, Agitators or Protestors who vandalize or damage our Federal Courthouse in Portland, or any Federal Buildings in any of our Cities or States, will be prosecuted under our recently re-enacted Statues & Monuments Act. MINIMUM TEN YEARS IN PRISON. Don’t do it! @DHSgov
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 27, 2020