Seattle

Regional News • Americas • United States
DOJ labels NYC, Portland and Seattle "Anarchist Jurisdiction", moves to cut federal funding
DOJ labels NYC, Portland and Seattle "Anarchist Jurisdiction", moves to cut federal funding
Credit: unsplash.com/Jakayla Toney

The United States Department of Justice has declared New York City, Portland and Seattle "anarchist jurisdictions" as all three cities "have permitted violence and destruction of property to persist and have refused to undertake reasonable measures to counteract criminal activities." This move comes after President Trump signed a memo that threatened to defund Democratic-led cities he deemed "lawless".

Designated cities face potential financial consequences and NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio's office is preparing to sue in case of funding cuts.

Regional News • Americas • United States
AG William Barr reportedly wanted to charge Seattle mayor for allowing BLM protests to continue without police oversight
William Barr, February 2020
William Barr, February 2020 Credit: The United States Department of Justice / Public domain

US Attorney General William Barr reportedly asked prosecutors of the justice department if Seattle mayor Jenny Durkan (D) could be charged for allowing BLM protests to continue in an autonomous police-free zone without police oversight, the New York Times reports, citing two sources familiar with the conversation.

Barr also wanted prosecutors to consider charging protestors with sedition, a charge usually used for people who conspire against the state.

Regional News • Americas • United States
Fifteen US mayors sign letter opposing use of federal law enforcement with "no oversight" against protesters
Black Lives Matter protest in Portland, Oregon. People protesting police brutality and the deaths of several members of the Black community - sparked by the recent death of George Floyd.
Black Lives Matter protest in Portland, Oregon. People protesting police brutality and the deaths of several members of the Black community - sparked by the recent death of George Floyd. Credit: unsplash.com/Tito Texidor III

Fifteen US mayors have addressed a letter to Attorney General William Barr and Acting Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security Chad Wolf opposing the use of federal federal law enforcement with "no oversight" against protesters. The letter is calling the act of deploying federal forces against protesters an "abuse of power" and is demanding the withdrawal of "extraordinary federal law enforcement and military presence" from Portland and other American cities.

"These are tactics we expect from authoritarian regimes -- not our democracy [...] The murder of George Floyd in Minneapolis sparked a national uprising and reckoning. The majority of the protests have been peaceful and aimed at improving our communities. Where this is not the case, it still does not justify the use of federal forces. Unilaterally deploying these paramilitary-type forces into our cities is wholly inconsistent with our system of democracy and our most basic values," the letter, posted by Mayor Muriel Bowser, said.

The list of mayors who signed the letter is as follows: Jenny A. Durkan, Seattle; Ted Wheeler, Portland; Keisha Lance Bottoms, Atlanta; Lori Lightfoot, Chicago; Muriel Bowser, Washington DC; Quinton D. Lucas, Kansas City; Martin J. Walsh, Boston; Jim Kenny, Philadelphia; Michael Hancock, Denver; Eric Garcetti, Los Angeles; Sam Liccardo, San Jose; Libby Schaaf, Oakland; Regina Romera, Tucson; Darrell Steinberg, Sacramento; Kate Gallego, Phoenix.

Portland officials had previously stated that federal officers were working in coordination with local law enforcement but have since come out saying that "coordination was not made with Portland police" as the "federal police have their marching order."

According to Chad Wolf, federal law enforcement had only been deployed to Portland. On Monday, Trump vowed to send federal officers to other cities.

Regional News • Americas • United States
One woman killed, one seriously injured as car hits protesters on closed Seattle highway killing
One woman killed, one seriously injured as car hits protesters on closed Seattle highway killing
Credit: Twitter Reproduction

Dawit Kelete, a 27-year-old man of Seattle, drove a car onto the closed I-5 freeway in Seattle early Saturday and barreled through a panicked crowd of protesters, killing Summer Taylor and injuring Diaz Love.

According to a police report released by the Washington State Patrol, Kelete drove his Jaguar around vehicles that were blocking Interstate 5 and sped into the crowd about 1:40 a.m. (local time). A video taken at the scene by one of the protesters showed people shouting “Car! Car!” before fleeing the roadway.

The mayor of Seattle, Jenny Durkan, tweeted: "No one should risk their life for demanding better from our city, state and country".

Regional News • Americas • United States
Fox News publishes, and removes. doctored images of BLM demonstrations
Reproduction of the Seattle Times comparison of the images
Reproduction of the Seattle Times comparison of the images Credit: Seatle Times (Reproduction)

Fox News has removed from its website digitally doctored images of Seattle’s so-called “Autonomous Zone” after The Seattle Times reported on the misleading pictures.

The misleading material ran alongside stories about a small expanse of city blocks in Seattle that activists have claimed as the Capitol Hill Autonomous Zone.

After the removal of the images, Fox News wrote on their site "Fox News regrets these errors.".

Law
United States judge rules that FBI is not allowed to look at locked phone screen without warrant

In a ruling by judge John Coughenour at the district court of Seattle, the judge has decided that the FBI violated the 4th Amendment by powering the phone of the suspect on and taking a photograph of the lock screen. While powering the phone on and looking at the phone during the search is permitted, the judge ruled that taking a photograph and examining it later requires a warrant.

Health
First COVID-19 vaccine tested

According to Associated Press the first COVID-19 vaccine was tested at the Kaiser Permanente research facility in Seattle, Washington. The vaccine was developed by the biotechnology company Moderna Therapeutics and contains a harmless part of the COVID-19 viral genome. The NHS-funded trial was fast-tracked, skipping animal experiments. According to the researchers, results may take many months.

Health
Gates Foundation Commits $5 million to help greater Seattle Area combat Covid-19

The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation has announced to provide $5 million to help the public health agencies in and around Seattle fight the coronavirus. The money is intended to provide tests and help with the detection of people infected. The Gates Foundation CEO Mark Suzman said that “early detection plays an essential role in helping public health authorities identify and treat people with COVID-19". According to him, testing is also important in order to be able to "take steps to safely isolate them and reduce transmission within the community".