The Justice Department has put three major U.S. cities, all run by liberal Democrats, on notice that they will lose federal financial support if they refuse to establish peace and order that has dissolved into politically partisan riots and looting in 2020.
According to NBC 4 in New York City, that city is one of three places that “have permitted violence and destruction of property to persist and have refused to undertake reasonable measures to counteract criminal activities,” the Justice Department said on Sept. 22. The other two cities are Portland, Ore. and Seattle.
The cities have also refused to prosecute charges related to “protests” linked to Black Lives Matter.
President Trump issued a memo earlier this month directing the DOJ to identify jurisdictions that, in its view, were not enforcing the law appropriately. The localities would be labeled “anarchist jurisdictions” in danger of losing their federal funding.
New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo deflected any blame for New York City’s sad condition back on the DOJ. “I understand the politics, but when you try to manipulate and distort government agencies to play politics, which is what the Trump administration has done from day one … this is more of the same,” Cuomo said on a conference call with reporters.
Trump’s Sept. 2 order gives the director of the Office of Management and Budget 30 days to issue guidance to federal agencies on restricting federal grants for cities deemed “anarchist.” Such grants make up a huge portion of NYC’s already strapped annual budget: 7.5 percent of the city’s projected total revenue.
In justifying its decision, the DOJ cited New York City’s rising gun violence, cuts to the NYPD’s budget, and moves by various district attorneys not to prosecute charges related to protests earlier this summer
“We cannot allow federal tax dollars to be wasted when the safety of the citizenry hangs in the balance,” Attorney General William Barr said in a statement.