Several American cities are currently racked with crime and civil unrest. On Monday the president vowed not to stand idly by. “New York and Chicago and Philadelphia and Detroit and Baltimore…we’re not going to let this happen in our country,” Trump said in the Oval Office. “We will have more federal law enforcement. That I can tell you.”
The cities the president mentioned are hurting. But none so much, as they are further burdened with radical riots and destruction, as Chicago, Seattle, and Portland.
The crime situation has become so bad in Chicago that the administration has a plan to aid local law enforcement. The Chicago Tribune reports that the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) may deploy 150 federal law enforcement personnel to the city. DHS would not comment, only offering, “DHS does not comment on any allegedly leaked operations.” Some feds have already arrived.
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“They’ve been there three days and they really have done a fantastic job in a very short amount of time,” Trump commented on Monday. “They grab them, lots of people in jail.”
The president said of rioters in Chicago and other cities: “These people are not protesters, these people are anarchists. These are people that hate our country and we’re not going to let it go forward.”
The mayor of Chicago, Lori Lightfoot reacted with blind animosity toward the president. “We don’t need federal agents without any insignia taking people off the streets and holding them, I think, unlawfully,” said Mayor Lightfoot. In Seattle the situation, quiet for a couple of weeks, has resumed its intensity, as rioters have begun again to loot and destroy private property and businesses.
The protesters broke out several windows of the East Precinct, then threw a device into the lobby that ignited a small fire.
— Seattle Police Dept. (@SeattlePD) July 20, 2020
— Omari Salisbury (@Omarisal) July 20, 2020
“Antifa Militants and Black Lives Matter rioters are breaking into Amazon Go Downtown Seattle,” reporter Katie Daviscourt said. “This protest has turned into a riot.”
NOW: Antifa Militants and Black Lives Matter rioters are breaking into Amazon Go Downtown Seattle. This protest has turned into a riot. #SeattleProtest #AntifaDomesticTerrorists #seattleriots #BlackLivesMatter pic.twitter.com/RH8u56fCGP
— Katie Daviscourt🇺🇸 (@KatieDaviscourt) July 19, 2020
In Portland the situation has also deteriorated, as the mayor denied the gravity of the events. But administration officials on the scene report differently. “The reality here is this violence began in his [Mayor Wheeler’s] city well before we deployed additional resources there,” Acting CBP Commissioner Mark Morgan told the press after witnessing the 53rd straight day of radical and anarchist-fueled violence in Portland. But the mayor disagrees.
“Keep your troops in your own buildings, or have them leave our city,” Portland Democrat Mayor Ted Wheeler said Friday. “The words and actions from President Trump and the Department of Homeland Security have shown that this is an attack on our democracy… The president has a complete misunderstanding of cause and effect. What’s happening here is we have dozens, if not hundreds of federal troops descending upon our city and what they’re doing is they are sharply escalating the situation. Their presence here is actually leading to more violence and more vandalism.”
The mayor compounded his denial of the reality on the streets of his city: “We haven’t asked them here. In fact, we want them to leave.” He called the federal response “a blatant abuse of police tactics by the federal government” and “a direct threat to our democracy… We’re all telling the Trump administration to stop the rhetoric, take these people out of our city, they are not helping us, they are hurting us.”
However, Mark Morgan begs to differ: “These individuals we’re talking about are not protesters, they’re criminals. Every night, they’re willfully coordinating, organizing, and planning to intentionally attack and destroy federal property and harm federal agents and officers. Those are criminals. That’s why we’re there and we’re not going anywhere… What we need is we need local leaders to stop saying ridiculous, irresponsible things, reach out to these protesters and get the police to work with us to go out and stop and arrest these criminals.”