On Sunday, the Department of Justice released a statement from Attorney General William Barr regarding the ongoing riots and protests being seen across the country.
Barr first stresses that the rioters are inserting themselves into peaceful demonstrations:
With the rioting that is occurring in many of our cities around the country, the voices of peaceful and legitimate protests have been hijacked by violent radical elements. Groups of outside radicals and agitators are exploiting the situation to pursue their own separate, violent, and extremist agenda.
The AG then states that “it is time to stop watching the violence and to confront and stop it,” adding that “continued violence and destruction of property endangers the lives and livelihoods of others, and interferes with the rights of peaceful protestors, as well as all other citizens.”
Barr continues, noting that that these riots are harming the legitimacy of the conversation surrounding real issues that must be addressed:
It also undercuts the urgent work that needs to be done – through constructive engagement between affected communities and law enforcement leaders – to address legitimate grievances. Preventing reconciliation and driving us apart is the goal of these radical groups, and we cannot let them succeed.
“It is the responsibility of state and local leaders to ensure that adequate law enforcement resources, including the National Guard where necessary, are deployed on the streets to reestablish law and order,” the statement adds. “We saw this finally happen in Minneapolis last night, and it worked.”
According to Barr, “federal law enforcement” will be attempting to detain and charge “the violent radical agitators who have hijacked peaceful protest and are engaged in violations of federal law.”
“To identify criminal organizers and instigators, and to coordinate federal resources with our state and local partners, federal law enforcement is using our existing network of 56 regional FBI Joint Terrorism Task Forces (JTTF),” the statement concludes. “The violence instigated and carried out by Antifa and other similar groups in connection with the rioting is domestic terrorism and will be treated accordingly.”
This statement is similar, and in places identical, to one released on Saturday, which can be viewed here.
The protests and riots taking place in numerous cities across the country follow the killing of 46-year-old African American man George Floyd after a Minneapolis police officer used his knee to pin Floyd’s neck to the ground. The officer in question, Derek Chauvin, was fired and has now been arrested and charged with third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter, as previously reported by The Daily Wire.
Floyd’s death has sparked national outrage, and even provoked a response from President Trump, who tweeted on Wednesday:
At my request, the FBI and the Department of Justice are already well into an investigation as to the very sad and tragic death in Minnesota of George Floyd. I have asked for this investigation to be expedited and greatly appreciate all of the work done by local law enforcement. My heart goes out to George’s family and friends. Justice will be served!
….I have asked for this investigation to be expedited and greatly appreciate all of the work done by local law enforcement. My heart goes out to George’s family and friends. Justice will be served!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) May 27, 2020
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