REPORT: DOJ declares New York, Portland and Seattle ‘anarchist jurisdictions,’ moves to cut federal funding

WASHINGTON (Washington Times) — The Justice Department on Monday declared New York, Portland and Seattle “anarchist jurisdictions,” the first step toward revoking federal funding from those cities.

President Trump earlier this month ordered federal agencies to look for ways to cut off federal funding in Democratic-led cities besieged by violence this summer. The Justice Department’s move escalates the criticism Mr. Trump has been leveling at Democrat leaders, blaming them for the rising crime and violence.

The list of cities is expected to be updated periodically, the Justice Department said.

Much of the crime and looting plaguing the cities has been on the rise since Memorial Day when George Floyd, a Black man, died while in the custody of the Minneapolis Police.

In a statement, Attorney General William P. Barr said the three cities identified Monday “have permitted violence and destruction of property to persist and have refused to undertake reasonable measures to counteract criminal activities.”

“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,” Mr. Barr said.

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

New York Attorney General Letita James said she was readying legal action, calling the designation an attempt by Mr. Trump to “scare the country’ into reelecting him.

“The president should be prepared to defend this illegal order in court, which hypocritically lays out the groundwork to defund New York and the very types of law enforcement President Trump pretends to care about,” she said. “We have beat the president and the illegal actions of his DOJ in court before and have no doubt we will beat them again.”

The Justice Department did not detail which federal funds would be cut from the cities. White House Budget Director Russell Vought is expected to issue guidance to federal agencies about withdrawing funds within the coming weeks.

Mr. Barr said a city can be named an “anarchist jurisdiction” if it forbids police from restoring order amid widespread violence; it has withdrawn law enforcement protection from a geographic area or prevented law enforcement from accessing a certain area; if it has defunded or removed power from the police; or refuses to accept assistance of federal law enforcement.

A city can also be added to the list under any other related factors deemed appropriate by the attorney general, he continued.

Representatives of the cities named by Mr. Barr did not immediately respond to a request for comment by The Washington Times.

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, a Democrat, earlier this month threatened to sue the Trump administration if it followed through with the funding cuts.

“I believe the president is fundamentally a bully, which I’ve said too many times, and I’ve known him very well for a very long period of time. It doesn’t work in New York because you can’t bully New Yorkers,” he said at the time. We just don’t get bullied. We don’t respond well to it, and I want to talk about facts.”

Mr. Cuomo said he is concerned about the rising crime in New York, but the issue is a local one, not a federal matter.

New York made the list because shootings were up 177 percent between July 2019 and July 2020, the Justice Department said. Amid the rising violence, Mayor Bill de Blasio and the New York City Council agreed to cut $1 billion from the city’s police budget.

Portland was included because of its more than 100 consecutive nights of violence and protests since the Floyd death. Mayor Ted Wheeler has explicitly rejected federal help as the violence increases.

A skirmish between Trump supporters and Antifa activists last month led to the death of Aaron Danielson. A supporter for the right-wing Patriot Payer Group, Danielson was allegedly murdered by Michael Reinoehl, an Antifa activist killed by authorities days later.

The Portland City Council voted in June to slash its police department budget by at least $15 million.

Seattle, meanwhile, was listed because of its “autonomous zone,” a police-free six-block area in the city’s Capitol Hill neighborhood, the Justice Department said.

Seattle voted in August to cut its police budget by roughly $3 million.

Law enforcement was barred from entering the territory where prison-related crime increased by 525 percent in June from the same period last year, according to the Justice Department.

The Justice Department offers funding to support local law enforcement and public safety activities to assist victims of crime, provide technical assistance and training to local police and conduct research.

The two main Justice Department grant agencies are the Office of Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS) and the Office of Justice Programs, which are dedicated to bolstering local law enforcement resources.

It is not clear how much funding from those programs goes to the cities on Mr. Barr’s hit list or if other Justice Department funding programs, such as the Office on Violence Against Women, which doles out funds to combat domestic violence, could be impacted.


Jeff Mordock of The Washington Times contributed to the contents of this report.

‘PHASED WITHDRAWAL’: Feds To Pull Out Of Portland As Riots Rage On, Says Oregon Governor

PORTLAND — Federal agents sent in by President Donald Trump to secure the city will begin a “phased withdrawal” from Portland, Oregon Governor Kate Brown said Wednesday.

The agents, who have frequently clashed with protesters, will begin leaving the city limits on Thursday.

The news comes the same day that Trump warned the “Beaver State” that either Oregon officials get a grip on the rioting that has shook the city in recent weeks or the federal government will.

“Either they’re gonna clean up Portland soon, or the federal government is going up, and we’re gonna do it for them. So either they clean out Portland — the governor and the mayor, who are weak — either they clean out Portland or we’re gong in to do it for them,” Trump told reporters Wednesday before departing on a trip to Texas.

In a statement, acting Homeland Security Secretary Chad Wolf said a plan negotiated with Brown over the last 24 hours includes a “robust presence” of Oregon State Police in downtown Portland to quell the violence.

“State and local law enforcement will begin securing properties and streets, especially those surrounding federal properties, that have been under nightly attack for the past two months,” Wolf said.

The riots, which began shortly after the death of George Floyd at the hands of Minneapolis police, have led to multiple deaths, hundreds of injuries and millions of dollars in property damage.

WHERE IS KYRON? 10 Years Later Step Mother Remains Main Focus of Missing Oregon Boy’s Disappearance

PORTLAND — Ten years after a Portland, Oregon boy disappeared from his elementary school, police officials say they are no closer to determining what happened to 7-year-old Kyron Horman.

The boy’s step-mother, Terri Horman- Vazquez, claims she last saw the boy at Skyline Elementary School after helping him set up a science fair exhibit before school. She has since remained a central focus in the missing boy’s disappearance.

Horman-Vasquez told police she left Kyron at the school after watching him walk toward his classroom, assuming she would pick him up at the bus stop later that day. However, when she and the boy’s father Kaine Horman went to the bus stop to pick Kyron up, Horman-Vasquez said they were told that Kyron never got on the bus. When the pair went to the school to retrieve the boy, it was revealed that Kyron had been marked absent that day. However, according to the boy’s teacher, Horman Vasquez had told her a few days prior to the boy’s disappearance that Kyron had a doctor’s appointment that day and would not be attending.

After denying anything to do with the boy’s disappearance, police officials were informed that Horman-Vazquez had attempted to hire a hit man to kill the boy’s father in the weeks leading up to the child going missing. Although no charges were filed in that matter, upon being notified of the attempt by police Kaine Horman moved out of the home he shared with his wife and successfully won custody of the pair’s young daughter.

Horman-Vasquez later took and reportedly failed two lie detector tests arranged by police relating to the boy’s disappearance and allegedly walked out of a third, claiming the failed tests were the result of a “hearing problem.”

“I went through the polygraph. They ask you if you can hear them; they do everything but roll out a red carpet so that you’re comfortable,” the boy’s biological mother, Desiree Young said of Terri’s claims. “She heard just fine. So I don’t believe it at all.”

The Multnomah County Sheriff’s Office and Multnomah County District Attorney’s Office released a video Thursday discussing the ongoing search for Kyron.

“As parents, we can’t imagine the pain and struggle Kyron’s family has experienced and continues to experience without him,” District Attorney Rod Underhill said.

Terri Horman-Vasquez has since left Oregon to start a “new life” in California and has recently remarried. She has yet to be charged in the boy’s disappearance, but police say the investigation into Kyron’s case is still active.

Anyone who knows of Kyron Horman’s whereabouts is asked to contact the Multnomah County Sheriff’s Office tip line at (503) 988-0560 or the FBI at (503) 224-4181.

PORTLAND MAYOR CALLS FOR SHUT DOWN OF ‘HATE FUELED’ PRO-TRUMP RALLIES

PORTLAND, OR — The mayor of Portland, Oregon on Monday called for a ban on a pro-Trump scheduled for the upcoming weekend on the grounds that such “hate fueled” will only lead to violence.

Mayor Ted Wheeler said Monday that the “alt-right demonstrations” would only fuel additional “hatred and fear” as the city works to recover from the fatal stabbing of two men who tried to shield young women from an anti-Muslim tirade last Friday.

“There is never a place for bigotry or hatred in our community, and especially not now,” Wheeler said in a three-part statement posted to Twitter. (https://twitter.com/tedwheeler?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw&ref_url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.foxnews.com%2Fpolitics%2F2017%2F05%2F30%2Fportland-mayor-urges-us-officials-to-shut-down-alt-right-rallies.html) “I hope we rise to the memory of these two gentlemen who lost their lives,” said Wheeler. “Let’s do them honor by standing with them and carrying on their legacy of standing up to hate and bigotry and violence.”

Jeremy Joseph Christian, 35, is scheduled to be arraigned on Tuesday on charges of murder, attempted murder, possession of a weapon and hate crime after police say he attacked and killed two male victims on board a train. According to eyewitnesses, Christian had begun ranting about the “Muslim takeover” in the U.S. and spewing “hate speech” toward two women on the train when Taliesin Namkai-Meche, 23, and Ricky Best, 53, intervened. Christian, say witnesses, drew his knife and began stabbing the victims. Another man, Micah David-Cole Fletcher, was also slashed in the neck but survived. He is currently recovering in a nearby hospital.

President Trump condemned the stabbings, writing Monday on Twitter: “The violent attacks in Portland on Friday are unacceptable. The victims were standing up to hate and intolerance. Our prayers are w/ them.” Despite that, Wheeler says a conservative rally at this time would only fuel tensions within the city.

“Our city is in mourning, our community’s anger is real, and the timing and subject of these events can only exacerbate an already difficult situation,” Wheeler said.

The Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/events/1927691894133941/?active_tab=about) for Sunday’s months long planned event, which praises Trump, promised speakers and live music in “one of the most liberal areas on the West Coast,” and promised the event would be “an uplifting experience to bring back strength and courage to those who believe in freedom.”

The federal government controls permitting for the plaza where the rally is scheduled to take place and Wheeler has asked that they shut it down. The city will also refuse to issue any of its own permits allowing organizers to hold the events elsewhere, Wheeler said.

The mayor says he also plans to ensure that a permit is not issued for a June 10 anti- Islamic extremist protest, KATU reports (http://katu.com/news/local/mayor-wheeler-wants-federal-govt-to-pull-permit-for-alt-right-protest-on-june-4) will be called the #MarchAgainstSharia.

Portland has been the site of several anti-Trump rallies in months past. None of which were discouraged by the mayor.

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