Attorney General William Barr announced on Saturday that he won’t hesitate to bring charges for anyone found to have crossed state lines to engage in riots, branding them “far-left extremist groups,” according to Politico.
The attorney general is facing the potential for hundreds of cases against rioters and looters who have taken advantage of the protests over the death of George Floyd.
Barr cited the need for law and order in communities across the nation, both on matters of racial equality and violent riots.
“Accountability for [Floyd’s] 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 is moving at exceptional speed… Justice will be served.”
A Justice Department spokeswoman cited “information given to use by state and local law enforcement” when questioned about the attorney general’s assertion that those responsible were to the left of the political spectrum.
Barr’s announcement came a day after he opened a federal civil rights investigation into Floyd’s death. Derek Chauvin, the officer who was seen putting his knee on the 46-year-old African American detainee’s neck, has since been charged with murder, as The Inquisitr previously reported.
However, the cities of Minneapolis and St. Paul, Minnesota, have seen unprecedented continuing violence, with rioters targeting numerous businesses that have been looted and burned down.
Minneapolis, Minn. on the morning of 28 May, 2020 following a night of race rioting. Buildings have been burned to the ground and stores looted as an alleged act of protest against the death of George Floyd. #BlackLivesMatter #Antifa pic.twitter.com/kvISMLN0jK— Andy Ngô (@MrAndyNgo) May 28, 2020
After days of unrelenting protests and violence, both city and state officials have told reporters that the majority of those arrested for crimes related to the protests have been residents of other states.
According to Politico‘s coverage of Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz’s press conference, state officials believe about 80 percent of protesters detained in the Twin Cities were from other states and only around 20 percent were Minnesotans.
“Our great cities of Minneapolis and St. Paul are under assault by people who do not share our values, who do not value life and the work that went into this and are certainly not here to honor George Floyd.”
The governor went on to say that violent out-of-state protesters need to stop and that “order needs to be restored.”
The publication wrote that Barr cited the Anti-Riot Act — which is part of the 1968 Civil Rights act — as part of his comments. The statute referenced was put into place in response to racially motivated riots that took place in the 1960s
The Inquisitr reported that Donald Trump also spoke out against people who travel outside their home state to incite violence. The president took to his stand on Twitter, saying that the federal government stands ready to drop the hammer on protesters violating federal law.