Peaceful protesting is fine the Attorney General William Barr told Americans, but a protest that has descended into burning America, violence, and looting will have serious consequences.
Activists and far-left extremists are crossing over state borders to incite hatred by blacks against whites, in several cities and the Barr is prepared to punish those breaking the law.
Barr acknowledged on Saturday, May 30, the “outrage” over George Floyd’s death is “real and legitimate, but said the peaceful protests against the police officer that murdered him that began in Minneapolis have been hijacked by “anarchic” and “far-left extremists groups.”
Peaceful protest hijacked
“Unfortunately, with the rioting that is occurring in many of our cities around the country, the voices of peaceful protest are being hijacked by violent radical elements,” said Barr in a statement.
“The voices of peaceful protests are being hijacked by violent radical elements,” Barr said on Saturday in a televised statement at the Department of Justice, reported ABC News.
Floyd, a black man was shown in a video pinned to the ground by a white police officer, and while pleading for his life was seen going lifeless as the officer continued to apply pressure with his knee to Floyd’s throat.
It is expected around 40 American cities will be involved in the protests over the next few days.
“Groups of outside radicals and agitators are exploiting the situation to pursue their own separate and violent agenda,” said Barr.
He continued, “In many places, it appears the violence is planned, organized, and driven by anarchistic and far-left extremists, using antifa-like tactics, many of whom travel from out of state to promote the violence.”
“We must have law and order on our streets and in our communities, and it is the responsibility of the local and state leadership, in the first instance, to halt this violence. The Department of Justice (including the FBI, Marshals, ATF, and DEA), and all of our 93 U.S. attorneys across the country, will support these local efforts and take all action necessary to enforce federal law.
In that regard, it is a federal crime to cross state lines or to use interstate facilities to incite or participate in violent rioting. We will enforce these laws,” he said in a statement released by Department of Justice.
Crossing state lines to incite violence is a federal crime
Barr has stressed that those crossing into other states to commit crimes will face federal charges as protests continue following the arrest for third-degree and manslaughter of Police Officer Derek Chauvin.
“The outrage of our national community about what happened to George Floyd in Minneapolis is real and legitimate. Accountability for his death must be addressed, and is being addressed, through the regular process of our criminal justice system, both at the state and at the federal level, said Barr. He added, “That system is working and moving at exceptional speed. Already initial charges have been filed. That process continues to move forward. Justice will be served.”
Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz said at a press conference on Saturday the state has estimated around 80 percent of those creating destruction in the area have come from outside Minnesota.
Washington Gov. Jay Inslee tweeted Saturday he activated 200 members of the state’s National Guard.
“The National Guard is on stand by to assist the Seattle Police Department as requested by Mayor Durkan,” Inslee said in a statement. “They will be unarmed and assist with infrastructure protection and crowd movement. They will only be utilized if absolutely necessary and we appreciate their efforts to help in this important work.”
Los Angeles has erupted in violence and Mayor Eric Garcetti set a curfew of 8 p.m. to 5:30 a.m. in downtown L.A.
President Trump wrote on Twitter, “80% of the RIOTERS in Minneapolis last night were from OUT OF STATE. They are harming businesses (especially African American small businesses), homes, and the community of good, hardworking Minneapolis residents who want peace, equality, and to provide for their families.”
80% of the RIOTERS in Minneapolis last night were from OUT OF STATE. They are harming businesses (especially African American small businesses), homes, and the community of good, hardworking Minneapolis residents who want peace, equality, and to provide for their families.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) May 30, 2020