The Mayor of Seattle says that Barr’s suggestions of ‘chilling’ him on the charges


The New York Times reported, prosecutors in the Department of Justice’s Civil Rights Division asked to investigate whether they could charge Durkan as a result of the protests this summer, when some protesters set up a police-free zone in downtown Seattle.

A former US lawyer, Durkan said in a statement, “The Department of Justice cannot become a political weapon operating at the behest of the president, who has spoken out against the actions of this administration.” “This is an act of tyranny, not of democracy.”

“Ultimately, this is not a story about me. It’s about how this president and his attorney general are ready to overturn the law and use the Department of Justice for political purposes,” he said. “It is particularly arrogant that our country tries to use civil rights laws to investigate, intimidate or prevent people fighting for civil rights.”

Durkan and the Trump administration repeatedly clashed over how to handle protesters who camped outside the Seattle Police’s East Precinct building in the Capitol Hill neighborhood after protesters dubbed the Capitol Hill Autonomous Zone.
Despite Trump’s threats, Durkan said the city would not accept federal troops to drive out the protesters. “The threat to invade Seattle and incite violence in our city – is not only unreasonable, it would be illegal,” he said, adding that most of the protests were peaceful.
Seattle police eventually repelled protesters from the area in July following an emergency order from Durkan.

Barr’s suggestion that prosecutors should consider filing charges against the mayor in line with his public position since the death of George Floyd in late May at the hands of the Minneapolis Police.

Casting himself as a law-and-order man, the Attorney General has used speeches to spread unrest rather than show firm support for the police and advocate law enforcement reforms in a peaceful manner.

CNN reported earlier on Wednesday that Barr had expressed disappointment to some local and state prosecutors in dealing with riot-related crimes, telling top Department of Justice prosecutors that he wanted them to be aggressive in bringing charges related to protest violence , Including rarely using flirting. Law, according to the person familiar with the case.

This is a topic that has gained traction in conservative media, which Barr closely follows, and he has been known to focus on the issue from time to time.

Still, some federal prosecutors were removed last week after the Attorney General brought violent protesters with the possibility of accusing them of treason, plotting to overthrow the US government.

This story has been updated with additional background information and references.

Ivan Perez of CNN contributed to this report.

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