The feds have left Seattle. The federal security detail deployed to the city amid ongoing civil unrest withdrew after pressure from state and local officials, Gov. Jay Inslee's office said Tuesday. Inslee was among those arguing that a show of force by the feds could lead to more violence and the same nightly clashes that are going on in Portland, where federal agents were also deployed, the Seattle Times reports. "I have confirmed with [Customs and Border Protection, which sent the tactical team] that their personnel demobilized and left Seattle," a Department of Homeland Security official wrote to Seattle officials. The local officials had said they were never consulted and never gave consent to the feds' arrival, KOMO News reports.
It was never made clear exactly how many agents had been deployed or where they were located. A US attorney downplayed their withdrawal: "As I stated Friday, a handful of law enforcement officers were summoned to Seattle to protect our federal buildings. [Seattle Police] Chief Best, who would know, saw no federal law enforcement officers clashing with protesters throughout all of this chaos. She saw none, because the officers who were summoned to Seattle were exactly where I said they would be: protecting federal buildings and the functions in those buildings." He added that the team was "needed elsewhere," but it was not clear where it might head next. (Read more Seattle stories.)