The Department of Justice is looking into whether federal charges can be brought against Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan over her failure to crack down on a so-called “autonomous zone” controlled for weeks by rioters.
Attorney General William Barr has tasked the DOJ’s civil rights division with investigating whether charges can be brought against Durkan, The New York Times reported on Wednesday evening citing two people familiar with the discussions. Barr has also asked federal prosecutors to consider charging rioters with sedition and insurrection against the United States government, according to The Wall Street Journal.
Rioters took over several city blocks and a police precinct in the middle of Seattle for several weeks over the summer as protests and riots took place following the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis on May 25. Durkan eventually ordered police to move into the area and reestablish order following several deadly shootings.
Barr’s reported push to charge rioters with federal crimes emphasizes the Trump administration’s push to reestablish law and order across America’s major cities, which have together been rocked by record amounts of damage. Insurance companies may shell out a record $2 billion to businesses and individuals because of riot-related destruction.
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