Barr drops the hammer: 150 face federal charges for violence at protests

Peaceful protests soon turned into violent riots in the wake of the death of George Floyd, a 46-year-old Black man who died in the custody of Minneapolis police in late May, as The New York Times reported. But Attorney General Bill Barr vowed that the destruction wouldn’t go unanswered — and now, he’s making good on that promise.

According to the Washington Examiner, a U.S. attorney said Barr’s Department of Justice (DOJ) has charged at least 150 individuals with federal crimes related to the widespread unrest.

Federal charges

It was acting U.S. Attorney for D.C. Michael Sherwin who laid out for Fox News host Tucker Carlson on Thursday how the DOJ is working to keep Americans safe.

“Under the leadership of President [Donald] Trump, and the direction of the attorney general, the United States attorney’s offices across the United States have charged to date 150 federal cases related not only to the destruction of federal property but also a litany of other crimes that really have been lost in the shuffle,” Sherwin told Carlson, according to the Examiner.

He continued: “In addition to the arson cases, there are several other federal charges that [have] been levied across the United States…related to murder in California, to arson throughout the United States, and destruction of properties.”

As the Examiner reported, Sherwin went on to stress that “people can’t unilaterally decide what is right and what is wrong,” adding that if individuals “take the law into their own hands, the law will come after them and the United States will use federal resources to charge you if you’re inciting violence or destroying these monuments.”

Hundreds of cases

The U.S. attorney also made clear on Thursday that those who commit federal crimes aren’t the only ones in the DOJ’s crosshairs.

“What people don’t realize is the fact that under the direction of the attorney general, the FBI, and other federal law enforcement officials have leveraged and worked with local officials throughout the United States to charge hundreds of other cases,” he said, according to the Examiner.

He went on: “Even though we don’t get a federal stat for those cases, there are hundreds of other cases the federal government has used to assist those local law enforcement agencies to ensure that, look, this violence will not be tolerated and it cannot be condoned in any way.”

According to the Examiner, Sherwin also told Carlson that “this is a work in progress, to identify who is the command and control for some of these groups, but right now, there appears to be with some of these individuals, there’s a loose affiliation with some extremist groups on the left and on the right.”

Attorney General Barr himself identified the threat posed by radical groups last month, telling reporters, “We have evidence that Antifa and other similar extremist groups, as well as actors of a variety of different political persuasions, have been involved in instigating and participating in the violent activity.

“We are also seeing foreign actors playing all sides to exacerbate the violence,” Barr added, according to a transcript from the DOJ. “The Department of Justice is working to restore order in the District of Columbia and around the nation.”

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