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Barr: ‘Outside Radicals and Agitators’ Are Using ‘Antifa-Like Tactics’ to Hijack ‘Voices of Peaceful Protest’

WASHINGTON, DC - MARCH 23: U.S. Attorney General William Barr attends the daily coronavirus briefing at the White House on March 23, 2020 in Washington, DC. With the number of deaths caused by the coronavirus rising and foreseeable economic turmoil, the U.S. Congress continues to work on legislation for the nearly $2 trillion dollar aid package to deal with the COVID-19 pandemic.

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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Aaron Keller holds a juris doctor degree from the University of New Hampshire School of Law and a broadcast journalism degree from Syracuse University.  He is the anchor and executive producer of Law&Crime Daily on the Law&Crime Network.  The broadcast is a recap of the day's most compelling trials and court proceedings.  He also serves as an editor for the Law&Crime website. DISCLAIMER:  This website is for general informational purposes only.  You should not rely on it for legal advice.  Reading this site or interacting with the author via this site does not create an attorney-client relationship.  This website is not a substitute for the advice of an attorney.  Speak to a competent lawyer in your jurisdiction for legal advice and representation relevant to your situation.