Thursday, October 22, 2020
New York City officials have said the city will join Portland and Seattle in a legal challenge against the Trump administration’s decision to label them as “anarchist” cities. The designation could have an impact on the federal funding of cities.
“It is the fruit of the troubled imagination of Donald Trump,” New York Mayor Bill de Blasio told reporters. “The only anarchy in this country comes from the White House.”
After weeks of street protests this summer, the White House issued a memorandum in early September claiming that some urban areas “allow lawlessness, violence and destruction.” The note mentions Seattle, Portland and New York.
A few days later, on September 7, President Trump tweeted that he attributes the unrest in several cities to “radical left democratic governors and mayors”.
The Department of Justice then officially designated three cities – New York, Portland and Seattle – as “jurisdictions permitting violence.”
Attorney General William Barr has made it clear that federal funding could be cut of these cities. âWe cannot allow federal taxpayer dollars to be wasted when the safety of citizens is at stake,â Barr said in a statement.
In a conference call with reporters Thursday, de Blasio said the lawsuit would be filed Thursday in Seattle to challenge the legality of the Trump administration’s action.
“It is morally wrong, it is legally unacceptable and it is unconstitutional and we will fight it,” said de Blasio.
Jim Johnson, who is the chief prosecutor for New York City, told the press conference that Portland and Seattle will join the legal complaint.
According to Johnson, the Trump administration has already taken steps to embezzle funds from the three cities.
âThey are taking this anarchist designation and starting to include it in federal grant applications,â he said. “They’re pushing their limits.”
He added that there is “no basis in law, no basis in fact” for the category of “anarchist”.
Protests erupted across the country after the deaths of George Floyd and other black men and women in police custody.
New York City officials say their city alone could lose up to $ 12 billion in federal funding.
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