Statement of the ACLU of Washington on the deployment of federal officers to Seattle

News Release: 
Friday, July 24, 2020
SEATTLE – The Department of Homeland Security has announced the deployment of a tactical team of border officers to protect federal property in Seattle. This team is similar to the unit deployed to Portland, OR, which indiscriminately used tear gas, rubber bullets, and acoustic weapons against crowds, against the wishes of city officials. This prompted a lawsuit by the ACLU of Oregon Foundation to block federal agents from dispersing, arresting, threatening to arrest, or using physical force against journalists or legal observers. Michele Storms, the Executive Director of the ACLU of Washington had this reaction:

“The ACLU of Washington opposes the deployment of these federal agents to Seattle. The recent actions of federal agents in Portland should concern residents of Seattle and everyone in Washington. Protestors’ calls for an end to systemic racism and police brutality must not be met with further displays of excessive force—by either federal agents or local law enforcement. This is a fight to save our democracy and any federal response in Seattle similar to what we have seen in Portland would be unacceptable. We are prepared to return to court to address unconstitutional actions by federal agents, just as we did against the City of Seattle.”

Read more about our lawsuit, BLM Seattle-King County v. City of Seattle here:

Read more about the ACLU of Oregon’s lawsuit against federal agents here:
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