DOJ Designates NYC, Portland and Seattle as 'Anarchist Jurisdictions'

Brittany M. Hughes | September 21, 2020

Under the direction of Attorney General Bill Barr, the Department of Justice has officially designated three U.S. cities – New York City, Portland and Seattle, to be exact – as “anarchist jurisdictions, threatening their federal funding for “imped[ing] their own law-enforcement officers and agencies from doing their jobs” and “endanger[ing] innocent citizens.”

“When state and local leaders impede their own law-enforcement officers and agencies from doing their jobs, it endangers innocent citizens who deserve to be protected, including those who are trying to peacefully assemble and protest,” Barr said in a statement Monday.

The criteria used by the DOJ to determine whether a city qualifies as an “anarchist jurisdiction includes:

  • Whether a jurisdiction forbids the police force from intervening to restore order amid widespread or sustained violence or destruction.
  • Whether a jurisdiction has withdrawn law enforcement protection from a geographical area or structure that law enforcement officers are lawfully entitled to access but have been officially prevented from accessing or permitted to access only in exceptional circumstances, except when law enforcement officers are briefly withheld as a tactical decision intended to resolve safely and expeditiously a specific and ongoing unlawful incident posing an imminent threat to the safety of individuals or law enforcement officers.
  • Whether a jurisdiction disempowers or defunds police departments.
  • Whether a jurisdiction unreasonably refuses to accept offers of law enforcement assistance from the Federal Government.

The DOJ noted that on top of meeting these general requirements, NYC has seen a rapid rise in violent crime since stripping its police department of $1 billion in funding, while violent and destructive riots in both Portland and Seattle have resulted in the loss of property and life, particularly in areas of the city that officials have largely surrendered to left-wing Black Lives Matter and Antifa mobs. All three cities have repeatedly rejected President Trump's offer to send in federal troops to help quell the violence, the DOJ notes.

“We cannot allow federal tax dollars to be wasted when the safety of the citizenry hangs in the balance,’’ the AG added.

New York City alone gets about $7 billion in federal funding annually. Seattle gets just over $1 billion, while Portland receives about $252 million.