Council President M. Lorena González (Position 9, Citywide) and the Council’s Public Safety Chair Councilmember Lisa Herbold (District 1, West Seattle & South Park) issued this statement following several reports that federal agents are on “stand-by” in Seattle monitoring potential protests around federal buildings:
“Seattle leaders have made it abundantly clear that federal local law enforcement intervention is unwanted and unneeded. Despite the collective call on the Trump administration to halt plans to come to Seattle, national and local media report that federal agents from the Department of Homeland Security (“DHS”) are on standby in Seattle. DHS is the same agency responsible for implementing President Trump’s horrific policy of separating children from their families seeking lawful asylum at the southern U.S.-Mexico border.
“President Trump’s deployment of federal agents to Seattle is dangerous political theater designed to intimidate and harm Americans exercising their constitutional right to protest. Weaponizing federal agents against the people they serve is unacceptable. Protests demanding transformational change to a broken policing model must not be met with threats of violence from federal agents.
“We will not allow the Trump Administration to reign terror on the residents of the City of Seattle. We are united in our belief that debate and demonstrations are fundamental to making our city and our country better.
“We ask all members of the public to be vigilant, to have a safety plan, and to know your rights, if you are demonstrating or are near demonstration areas. If you are detained, you have the right to remain silent and to speak to an attorney. The U.S. Constitution provides rights for everyone, regardless of your immigration status.
“Our offices will continue to monitor the federal agents’ presence in Seattle, and we will work with Mayor Jenny Durkan, Washington State Attorney General Bob Ferguson, Governor Jay Inslee, and our congressional representatives to halt any actions by federal authorities that violate our residents’ constitutional rights.”
On June 8, 2020, the Seattle City Council unanimously passed Resolution 31948 condemning the use of military force in jurisdictions such as Seattle that have not requested and do not intend to request federal interventions.