According to The New York Times, the Department of Justice (DOJ) is allegedly exploring the possibility of federal charges against Democratic Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan for her role in facilitating her city’s violent “Chop” or Capitol Hill Organized Protest.
According to two unnamed sources supposedly familiar with the issue, The New York Times said on Wednesday, Sept. 16, that Attorney General William Barr has instructed the DOJ’s civil rights division to investigate whether charges can be brought against Durkan for failing to take strong action against the so-called CHAZ or CHOP.
This downtown area of Seattle was controlled for weeks by violent rioters who even ran the police off the premises.
At the same time, Barr also allegedly ordered federal prosecutors to consider charging the rioters with sedition and insurrection against the government, according to a report in The Wall Street Journal published on Sept. 17.
But Brian Moran, the U.S. Attorney for the Western District of Washington, also denied the Times report, saying, “At no time has anyone at the Department communicated to me that Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan is, was, or should be the subject of a criminal investigation or should be charged with any federal crime related to the Capitol Hill Organized Protest (CHOP).”
Violence in the streets and Durkan’s inaction
Following the death of African American George Floyd in late May, violent rioters identified with the antifa movement took control of several Seattle blocks.
The area was established on June 8, 2020, with barricades and other entrance blockades, after the city’s police left the Eastern Precinct.
According to the local police themselves, rapes, robberies, and “all sorts of violent acts” occurred at the site.
The escalation of violence was such that several shootings occurred that proved to be fatal.
At the desperate request of local residents, Durkan, who had supported the protest, finally ordered the police to move to the area and restore order.
In fact, despite the chaos in the area, the mayor and other city officials continued to defend the demonstration.
Law and Order
Barr’s push to charge rioters with federal crimes underscores the Trump administration’s drive to restore law and order in major U.S. cities, which together have been rocked by record amounts of damage.
Just to mention one figure that measures the extent of the damage: insurance companies could pay out about $2 billion to businesses and individuals because of the destruction caused by the riots.
President Donald Trump has made the rampant violence generated by hundreds of out-of-control riots a major campaign issue, portraying Democratic candidate Joe Biden as a weak leader who could not or would not want to take decisive action.
In fact, most of the major riots that occurred over the last few months took place in cities governed by Democratic mayors including Chicago, New York, and Portland, who defended the demonstrations, even when there were strong scenes of violence.