AG Barr addresses unrest

The attorney general said antifa and other similar extremist groups have been involved in instigating and participating in the violent activity sweeping the country.
9:44 | 06/04/20

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Transcript for AG Barr addresses unrest
Over the constitution. Avenue. Entrance to this building. There's a lack description that translates. Everything. Is created by law and order to. That ancient principle steel holds true. Our free society depends on the rule of law. The assurance that ordinary citizens. Can go about their lives without being subject to arbitrary violence or fear. When the rule of law breaks down. The promise of America. Does wolves. Our nation is now confronting two serious. Challenges. The rule of law. The first is a longstanding. One. But was recently crystallized. And driven home by the killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis. The video of the police conduct in this episode as I said before his harrowing. When you are chip. And imagine that one of your own loved ones was being treated this way. And begging for their lives. It is impossible for any normal human beings. Not to be struck to the heart. With our. This matter is being pursued by both the state. And the federal government. The state has filed already. Second degree murder charges against one of the officers. And aiding and abetting charges against the other three officers. As we typically do in cases such as this the Department of Justice. And the FB RI is conducting a parallel an independent investigation. Into possible violations. Of federal civil rights law us. The president has directed me to spare no effort. We are coordinating. Our work with the attorney general of Minnesota. And as a matter of comedy department to Department of Justice typically lets the state go forward. With its proceedings first. This afternoon are United States attorney in Minnesota. And the FBI special agent in charge of our Minneapolis field office the FBI's field office. Will attend a memorial service for mr. flop Floyd. Today. Is a day of mourning. And the day is coming soon I am confident. When ingests justice will be served. George Floyd's daft was not the first of its kind. And it exposes concerns. That reach far beyond. This particular case. While the vast majority of police officers do their job bravely and righteously. It is undeniable that many African Americans lacked confidence. In her American criminal justice system. This must change. Our constitution mandates equal protection of the laws and nothing less. Is acceptable. As the nation's leading federal law enforcement agency. The Department of Justice will do its part. I believe that police chiefs and law enforcement officials and leaders around the country. Are committed to ensuring. That racism plays no car in law enforcement. And that everyone receives equal protection of the laws. In October 2019. The president established. The first commission on law enforcement since the 1960s. And I am meeting with him later this month. And I have been talking to law enforcement leaders around the country. And in the weeks and months ahead we will be working with community leaders. To find constructive solutions so that mr. Floyd staff. Will not have been in day. We will work hard. To bring good out of back. Unfortunately the aftermath of George Floyd staff has produced a second challenge. To the rule of law. While many have peacefully express their anger and grief. Others have hijacked protests. To engage in lawlessness. Violent rioting. Arson. Looting of businesses. And public property. Assaults on law enforcement officers and innocent people. And even the murder of a federal agent. Such senseless acts of anarchy. Are not exercise is a first amendment rights the air crimes. Designed to terrify fellow citizens. And intimidate communities. As I told the governors on Monday. We understand. The distinction. Between three different sets of actors here. The large preponderance of those who are pro testing. Our peaceful demonstrators. Who are exercising. Their first amendment rights. At some demonstrations. However. There are groups that exploit the opportunity to engage in such crimes as looting. And finally at some demonstrations. There are extremist agitators who are hijacking the protests. To pursue their own separate and violent agenda. We have evidence that anti fur 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. And we are also seeing far matters playing all sides. To exacerbate. The violence. The Department of Justice is working to restore. Order in the District of Columbia. And around the nation. Here in Washington we are working with the local police. The citizen soldiers of the National Guard and other federal agencies to provide safety and justice. We have deployed all the major law enforcement. Components. Of the department. On this mission. Including the FBI the ATF the DEA. The Bureau of Prisons and the US Marshal which surface. Their leaders are with me today and we'll be talking shortly. I thank all of these leaders and their components. For working bravely and professionally to protect the district. I'm pleased to say that. Especially over the last two nights the demonstrations. While large have been peaceful. The Justice Department is also working closely with our state and local partners to address violent riots around the country. Our federal law enforcement efforts are focused. On the violent instigate us. Through the FBI. US attorney's offices component field offices and state and local enforcement. We are receiving real time intelligence. And we have deployed resource is to quell outbreaks of violence in several places. I urged governors and mayors and other state and local leaders to work closely. With the National Guard. And without much. The federal government has thus far made 51 arrests for federal crimes in connection with violent rioting. We will continue to investigate. To make arrests and to prosecute it warranted. When I was attorney general in 1990 far but 1992. Riots broke out in Los Angeles following the acquittal. By the state. Of police officers accused. Of beating Rodney King. Ultimately the Department of Justice at my direction filed federal civil rights charges. Against those officers. As President Bush assured the nation at that time. Quote. The violence will end. Justice will be served. Hopeful return. The same is true today. The rule of law will prevail. Thank you. Now I'd like to introduce my colleague. Chris Ray the director of the FBI and I have to say. This is the FBI that I've had the pleasure of working wins over the last few days and FBI that I know and love. That has really stood up here and performed magnificently. Not only here in DC but around the country and are all their field office us. And there enforcement functions they're intelligent functions are now in full gear. And I'm confident that with the FBI's leadership. We are going to deal effectively. With the criminals who were involved. In extremist violence.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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