After weeks of angry protests that have, in many cases, descended into violent riots and criminal looting, the federal government is taking action to prevent further destruction and hold wrongdoers fully accountable under the law.
Citing a Justice Department memo first shared by The Washington Post, the Washington Examiner reported Friday that Attorney General Bill Barr has moved to create a special task force explicitly intended to stop organized criminal acts perpetrated by “anti-government extremists.”
Barr forms task force
According to the Examiner, the new task force ordered by Barr will be co-headed by a pair of U.S. attorneys, Craig Carpenito of the District of New Jersey and Erin Cox of the Northern District of Texas.
A statement from the attorney general’s office, which was shared by the Examiner Saturday, indicated that the task force is set to be comprised of members of other U.S. attorneys’ offices, as well as the FBI and other relevant federal law enforcement agencies.
The primary goal of the task force, according to the statement, will be to “develop detailed information about violent anti-government extremist individuals, networks, and movements,” which Barr has previously said are responsible for anarchy that has overshadowed once-peaceful protests over the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis late last month. The task force will also share information learned with state and local law enforcement where appropriate, as Fox News reports.
In addition, the task force will provide training and resources to law enforcement agencies “at all levels” in order to better prepare them to “identify, investigate, and prosecute violent acts by anti-government extremists,” Barr’s statement said.
Take a look:
“Some pretend to profess a message of freedom and progress, but they are in fact forces of anarchy, destruction, and coercion.” pic.twitter.com/bfyB9Sacmn
— Kerri Kupec DOJ (@KerriKupecDOJ) June 26, 2020
“Forces of anarchy”
As The Hill noted, Barr included in his memo thanks to Justice Department officials who have made efforts to prosecute “lawless conduct” amid the widespread unrest thus far.
“Although these extremists profess a variety of ideologies, they are united in their opposition to the core constitutional values of a democratic society governed by the rule of law,” Barr wrote. “Some pretend to profess a message of freedom and progress, but they are in fact forces of anarchy, destruction, and coercion.”
President Donald Trump, for his part, has similarly expressed a desire to restore law and order.
I just had the privilege of signing a very strong Executive Order protecting American Monuments, Memorials, and Statues – and combatting recent Criminal Violence. Long prison terms for these lawless acts against our Great Country!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) June 26, 2020