51 were arrested for federal riot related crimes, says Barr
US Attorney General Bill Barr said Thursday authorities had made 51 arrests for federal riot related crimes, blaming the violence during protests in response to George Floyd’s death on anti-fa and “other similar extremist groups. », And also alleging foreign involvement.
“The vast majority of those demonstrating are peaceful protesters exercising their First Amendment rights,” Barr said.
But, he said, “there are groups who take advantage of the opportunity to engage in looting” and “extremist agitators who hijack protests to pursue their own separate and violent agenda.”
Barr said the Justice Department had evidence that “antifa and other similar extremist groups” as well as “actors of various political persuasions” incited violence, as well as “foreign actors playing on all sides to exacerbate the violence. violence. “
Barr said federal law enforcement was focusing on the “violent instigators” of the protests and made “51 arrests for federal crimes related to violent riots.”
Barr also said that “while the vast majority of police officers do their jobs with courage and righteousness, it is undeniable that many African Americans lack confidence in our American justice system,” Barr said. “This has to change.
Protests erupted in cities across the country in response to the death of George Floyd, 46, a Minneapolis resident, on Monday. Floyd was heard on video saying, “I can’t breathe” as Officer Derek Chauvin knelt on his neck for nearly four minutes. Dozens of cities remain in the grip of protests, some of which have been marred by looting and riots, even after Chauvin was arrested and charged with manslaughter and third degree murder. There have been at least 12 deaths around the demonstrations.
A note from the FBI Washington field office obtained by The nation found “no information indicating Antifa’s involvement,” although an FBI spokesperson said Forbes these memos refer only to the local area covered by the field office.
10,000. More than 10,000 people were arrested during protests on Thursday, according to the Associated press.