Attorney General William Barr released a statement on Saturday about the alleged murder of George Floyd and subsequent protests in cities across the country, many of which have turned violent and destructive.
“The greatness of our nation comes from our commitment to the rule of law,” Barr said. “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.
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“Groups of outside radicals and agitators are exploiting the situation to pursue their own separate and violent agenda,” he 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 called noted that it was a “federal crime to cross state lines or to use interstate facilities to incite or participate in violent rioting.” He said federal authorities were ready to support local efforts to manage conflicts, though he admitted local officials bore the primary responsibility “to halt this violence.”
“The outrage of our national community about what happened to George Floyd in Minneapolis is real and legitimate,” Barr said. “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. 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.”
Editor’s note: this breaking news report has been updated.
[Image via Drew Angerer/Getty Images.]
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