Amnesty International on Monday described the Donald Trump administration’s threat to pull federal resources from three cities run by Democrats because of Black Lives Matter protests as ‘damaging’.
The Trump administration on Monday named Portland, Seattle and New York City as cities permitting violence and crime, according to the U.S. Department of Justice.
It indicated that the designation could affect federal funding for the three large Democrat-run cities without explaining how.
“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.
Justin Mazzola, Researcher at Amnesty International USA, said the administration’s threats were “just another in a long line of abject failures by this administration to protect Black and Brown lives, refusing to do the job that is needed to address the inherent problems in our law enforcement systems.”
Mazzola added: “Rather than denying that there are serious, systemic problems with law enforcement in the U.S., the Department of Justice and Attorney General Barr should listen to the calls of those impacted.
“Making threats to pull federal resources from these cities does nothing to help those communities impacted by police violence, and could be especially harmful to the safety of these communities which are already facing budget deficits due to COVID-19.
“Rather than seeing advocates for police reform as enemies who must be punished, the Department of Justice should be working with these local communities, listening to the calls of the people impacted, and using the tools at its disposal to reform the police departments that violate the rights of Black and Brown people and those protesting against this police violence.”