UPDATED 12:45 PM PT —Friday, July 10, 2020
President Trump has stated he had federal forces on standby when Seattle’s mayor ordered the removal of its illegal autonomous zone. During a recent interview, the president reiterated Mayor Jenny Durkin sent in local law enforcement to dismantle the CHOP zone after he called to say federal troops were going in.
The encampment was cleared out on July 1st, following weeks of violence and lawlessness.
The president offered to deploy the National Guard on numerous occasions, but local officials denied his requests.
“We were going in very soon. We let them know that and, all of a sudden, they didn’t want that. So, they went in before we got there… We would have taken the CHOP back very easily, but they went in and, frankly, the people just gave up. They were tired.” – Donald Trump, 45th President of the United States
He went on to emphasize he was ready to help out in Seattle and said he even looked forward to seeing the autonomous zone dismantled.
Meanwhile, the Seattle City Council has moved forward with plans to defund its police department. On Thursday, council members voted to decrease the police budget by 50%, or $200 million, and put those funds towards community needs.
This comes amid a major outcry from the Black Lives Matter movement to “defund” or dismantle police departments nationwide. Critics have slammed the decision, which was passed without the approval of the mayor.
Council President Lorena Gonzalez has defended the move by saying “we have to take away the things that no longer and should have never belonged to law enforcement in the first place.”