The Department of Justice (DOJ) on Monday identified New York City, Portland and Seattle as "local governments that are permitting anarchy, violence, and destruction in American cities," a move that comes as the federal government continues to take a tough stance against localized rioting in some areas of the country.
President Trump earlier this month targeted those three cities in a memo to Attorney General William Barr and the Office of Management and Budget asking for a review of federal funding to "anarchist" jurisdictions. The DOJ memo Monday essentially serves as notice that New York City, Portland and Seattle meet the criteria Trump set out for potential defunding, Fox News reports.
It's unclear whether and how much funding may eventually be withdrawn from the cities and if such a move would be legal, as it would likely be challenged in the courts.
"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. “We cannot allow federal tax dollars to be wasted when the safety of the citizenry hangs in the balance. It is my hope that the cities identified by the Department of Justice today will reverse course and become serious about performing the basic function of government and start protecting their own citizens."