AG Barr: 'Planned' Riots are Organized and 'Using Antifa-like Tactics'
Attorney General shares same notion of riots as Trump
Attorney General Bill Barr echoed President Donald Trump's notion that Friday's riots are professionally organized and driven by "far-left extremist groups."
Barr released a statement on the riots which occurred it the following cities:
- New York City
The attorney general said the riots, which were not peaceful protests, were "hijacked by violent radical elements."
"Groups of outside radicals and agitators are exploiting the situation to pursue their own separate and violent agenda," Barr said.
"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," Barr's statement continued.
"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," he added.
"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."
Barr noted that "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."
On Saturday, President Trump described the rioting protesters as "organized groups" having nothing to do with mourning the death of George Floyd.
"These are 'Organized Groups' that have nothing to do with George Floyd," Trump tweeted Saturday morning. "Sad!"
These are “Organized Groups” that have nothing to do with George Floyd. Sad!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) May 30, 2020
"The professionally managed so-called 'protesters' at the White House had little to do with the memory of George Floyd," he said in a tweet moments before.
"80% of the RIOTERS in Minneapolis last night were from OUT OF STATE," Trump tweeted on Saturday.
"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
The mayor of Minneapolis, the mayor of St. Paul mayor and the governor of Minnesota, said the rioters were from out of state.
Trump's figures were confirmed by Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz (D), who said only 20% of the protesters who have been arrested are state residents.
"I want to be very, very clear. The people that are doing this are not Minneapolis residents," Frey said.
"They are coming in largely from outside of the city, from outside of the region, to prey on everything that we have built over the last several decades."
St. Paul Mayor Melvin Carter (D) said those riotings were not local residents.
"Every single person we arrested last night, I'm told, was from out of state. What we are seeing right now is a group of people who are not from here," Carter said.
"As I talk to my friends who have been in this movement for a very long time, who wake up in this movement every day and I ask them what they're seeing, what they're feeling, what they're hearing, to a person, I hear them say 'we don't know these folks," Carter stated.
"We don't know these folks who are agitating; we don't know these folks who are inciting violence, we don't know these folks who are first in to break a window."
William Barr weighed in the George Floyd case saying outrage 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," Barr stated.
"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."