Denying federal law enforcement assistance to combat violence is "unconscionable,” Seattle Police Officers Guild President Michael Solan told “America’s Newsroom” on Wednesday, reacting to comments made by Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan earlier this week.
Speaking on “Erin Burnett Outfront” on CNN on Monday, Durkan said President Trump, “clearly targeted cities run by Democratic mayors. He’s said so himself.”
“He’s using law enforcement as a political tool,” Durkan continued. “I hate to say it, but I really believe that we are seeing the dry run for martial law. This is a president that is using law enforcement and federal forces for political purposes and that should be chilling to every American.”
Solan said: “Clearly what the dry run for Seattle was, the CHAZ/CHOP experience where multiple people were shot and killed."
Earlier this month Seattle police forcefully cleared out "CHOP," the infamous protest zone in the Capitol Hill neighborhood, after weeks of protests that culminated with two fatal shootings that forced the city's Democratic leadership to finally act after facing weeks of mounting scrutiny.
“Now I ask for support from any local, state or federal law enforcement entity to help us in Seattle because we almost lost the ability to have less lethal tools that are effective in holding a riotous mob back,” Solan said.
“If we lost that tool we would have lost a precinct over this past weekend and the evidence is 60 cops were hurt by improvised explosive devices projectiles, wood, frozen water bottles [and] metal.
“So to deny any type of assistance from any law enforcement entity to me is unconscionable and I have yet to hear one elected official show concern for the officers that were hurt this past weekend.”
The police union leader made the comments one day after officials said a tactical team of border agents deployed to Seattle last week to help protect federal property has departed the city.
Durkan said the Department of Homeland Security informed her of the move. The Special Response Team was sent to the city last week as the Trump administration continues to defend the intervention of the federal government as an effort to restore law and order amid ongoing protests in several cities.
In a tweet, Durkan said policing decisions should be made by Police Chief Carmen Best, not Trump. The agents were deployed to Seattle to protect federal property in the wake of unrest following weeks of demonstrations and the occupation of the so-called autonomous protest zone, where police officers and other first responders were denied entry.
In Seattle over the weekend, dozens of police officers were injured, with one requiring hospitalization, according to police and local reports. Other injuries included bruises, abrasions, burns and a torn meniscus, but many officers were able to return to work.
Some rioters set fire to a portable trailer and threw an explosive device at a police precinct, while authorities used blast balls, sponge rounds and OC spray to disperse protesters.
Nearly 50 people were arrested, Seattle police said.
“Not one elected official has shown concern for any of the officers that were hurt,” Solan said, noting that several officers suffered “major injuries.”
“And I have yet to hear anybody say that that is unreasonable activism, that’s criminal behavior on the behalf of the fringe group of anarchists that are pushing a political agenda,” he continued, adding that “cops are in the cross hairs.”
Solan went on to discuss the ramifications of cutting millions of dollars from the city’s police department budget.
“Elected officials two months ago, the president of the Seattle City Council and the mayor, [said] that the Seattle Police Department is the most progressive agency in this nation, that leads the way in training and the de-escalation in policies,” Solan said. “I find it ironic that the city council is now looking to defund us by 50 percent.
“That move will make CHAZ/CHOP, the experience that it was, look like child's play when you have up to 800 officers that will lose their jobs,” he continued, noting that “50 percent of the budget, is 85 percent salary.”
“Seattle will be a lawless wasteland,” Solan said.
Fox News’ Louis Casiano and Edmund DeMarche contributed to this report.