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Seattle mayor says federal agents are leaving city

Seattle mayor says federal agents are leaving city
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Federal agents that had been deployed to Seattle last week to protect federal buildings from anticipated protests have left the city, Mayor Jenny DurkanJenny DurkanSeattle City Council cuts police department budget nearly 17 percent Biden pledges to work with mayors Police accountability board concludes that Seattle police officers used excessive force during encounters with protesters MORE (D) said late Tuesday.

"[The Department of Homeland Security] notified me that federal forces deployed to Seattle have demobilized & left," Durkan tweeted. "The President’s actions to target Democratic cities with federal forces is chilling and increased violence in Portland, Seattle & other cities - exactly what the President intended."

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The mayor added that Seattle Police Chief Carmen Best is in charge of the city's policing, not President TrumpDonald John TrumpVenezuela judge orders prison time for 6 American oil executives Trump says he'll leave White House if Biden declared winner of Electoral College The Memo: Biden faces tough road on pledge to heal nation MORE. Durkan also denounced the continued federal occupation in Portland, Ore.

The rhetoric surrounding the nationwide Black Lives Matter protests — which were catalyzed by the police killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis at the end of May — is decidedly split among the country's political parties.

Democratic lawmakers like Durkan have denounced the violence that has occurred at the protests, while recognizing the legitimacy of the reason behind the ferocious protests: Police brutality and systemic racism in the U.S.

The Trump administration, meanwhile, has taken an aggressive stance toward protesters. Trump, acting Homeland Security Secretary Chad WolfChad WolfBiden picks first Latino to lead Homeland Security Republican senators urge Trump to label West Bank goods as 'Made in Israel' Judge says acting DHS secretary appointment unlawful, invalidates DACA suspension MORE and Attorney General William BarrBill BarrClyburn: Biden falling short on naming Black figures to top posts Five federal inmates scheduled for execution before Inauguration Day Redeeming justice: the next attorney general MORE have all labeled the protesters as rioters and anarchists.

That said, The Associated Press is reporting that the White House is in talks of removing the federal troops from Portland that have been in the city since late June to protect the federal courthouse that has been damaged by protests.