4 things to know about weekend riots in Seattle, Portland

4. How did government officials respond?

Washington Gov. Jay Inslee ordered all gatherings of 10 people or more to end last Friday. The order is in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, but the governor has not specifically mentioned anything about the weekend’s riots or police presence. 

Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan has not publicly spoken about the weekend’s riots but has been in discussion with the Seattle Police Department about restructuring the police department. 

According to a statement from the mayor last Monday, Seattle Police could face a $76 million cut from the city’s 2021 budget.

“Chief [Carmen] Best and I believe we can build a new model for community safety in Seattle by reimagining our approach to policing and investing deeply in community,” Durkan said. “This new approach to community safety requires deep community engagement and thoughtful analysis.”

Durkan voiced her displeasure with the presence of federal authorities coming to Seattle on Friday. She wrote on social media that she has been “raising alarm bells” about Trump’s plan to use federal agents.

Oregon Gov. Kate Brown labeled the presence of federal agents as an act of “political theater” by Trump in a statement last week. The governor has not spoken about the weekend’s riots publicly.

Community leaders in Portland met for a conference held by The Portland Police Association on Sunday. Multiple community activists spoke, including Pastor Matt Hennessee of Vancouver Avenue First Baptist Church.

“[I’m] begging you to put down your need for violence and meet us to move forward,” Hennessee said, according to KOIN6.

The community activists stressed that the violence and destruction must come to an end and that conversations should be had to solve the city’s problems.

In Portland, community leaders and anti-violence activists have been the most vocal in condemning the violence. The presence of federal agents in an attempt to restore order was supported by Trump, but not within municipal leadership in either city.

”We are trying to help Portland, not hurt it,” Trump tweeted Sunday. “Their leadership has lost control of the anarchists and agitators. We must protect our federal property and our people.”

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