Over the weekend, cities across the country experienced widespread demonstrations, many of which devolved into looting and rioting, after the police-involved death of George Floyd in Minneapolis, Minnesota.
Attorney General Bill Barr has come out strongly against the violence, proposing that the 1968 Anti-Riot Act be used to prosecute those engaging in the violence and destruction.
In a statement released this past weekend, Attorney General Barr addressed the violence for the first time publicly:
It is time to stop watching the violence and to confront and stop it. The continued violence and destruction of property endangers the lives and livelihoods of others, and interferes with the rights of peaceful protestors, as well as all other citizens.
It also undercuts the urgent work that needs to be done – through constructive engagement between affected communities and law enforcement leaders – to address legitimate grievances. Preventing reconciliation and driving us apart is the goal of these radical groups, and we cannot let them succeed.
The Attorney General’s law and order approach to the looting and destruction provides a stark contrast to the predominantly hands off approach that Democratic elected officials such as New York Mayor Bill de Blasio, Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti, and Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey have had in response the looters and rioters.
Minneapolis City Councilman Jeremiah Ellison, son of the Minnesota Attorney General, has even gone so far as declaring his support for Antifa who has likely been fueling the violence.
It remains to be seen how long the riots and looting will last, but the Attorney General consistently remains a proponent of the rule of law.