Wednesday, 2 September 2020

AG Barr: Feds, National Guard Were Ready To Go Into Kenosha Immediately After Police Shooting, Extremists Came From Out Of Town

Attorney General William Barr said on Monday that the majority of the extremists that attacked Kenosha, Wisconsin, last week were from out of town and that the federal government immediately prepared to assist local officials following the officer-involved shooting that sparked the riots.
“When this shooting occurred here in Kenosha, under the direction of the president, we told the DOD — the Defense Department — to get ready some National Guard units in case they were needed to help here. And from several states, volunteered to supply National Guard if they were needed,” Barr said. “And the president directed me to assemble a group of federal law enforcement that could be dispatched here, which we did, and staged them in Chicago. And we were picking up information that these violent instigators were coming to Kenosha. They were coming from California, Washington state, a lot from Chicago, and they were coming up to Kenosha. So we expected matters to get worse.”
Barr said that the attack was a “coordinated” attack on law enforcement, on public property, and on private property.
“These are the same people, many of them who came from out of town,” Barr said. “Out of 175 arrests, 100 were from out of town. And some — these are the same people using the same tactics that have been used in various cities: Washington, D.C., Atlanta, Chicago, now Kenosha, Portland. And they use these black-bloc tactics; throwing projectiles at police and literally trying to inflict injuries on police, arson, and rioting.”
“They came equipped as — even the mayor of Washington acknowledged — they come equipped to fight,” Barr added.”And it’s completely unacceptable, and the state is the first line of defense. If local leaders are committed to keeping the public safe, it can be done.”
WATCH:
TRANSCRIPT:
ATTORNEY GENERAL BARR: Thank you, Mr. President. As most of you know, whenever there is an officer-involved shooting in our country, it’s reviewed by local authorities to ensure that it was reasonable force. And when there are questions raised about it, the federal government also — the Justice Department also reviews it.
And like all procedures and processes in our country, we do it under due process. And we try to reach a dispassionate, reasoned decision based on an analysis of the situation. We do not allow judgments to be reached because of mob violence. We do not have mob violence in this country make our decisions over the fate of individuals when their actions are challenged.
And when this shooting occurred here in Kenosha, under the direction of the president, we told the DOD — the Defense Department — to get ready some National Guard units in case they were needed to help here. And from several states, volunteered to supply National Guard if they were needed.
And the president directed me to assemble a group of federal law enforcement that could be dispatched here, which we did, and staged them in Chicago. And we were picking up information that these violent instigators were coming to Kenosha. They were coming from California, Washington state, a lot from Chicago, and they were coming up to Kenosha. So we expected matters to get worse.
The violence that erupted shortly after this shooting is simply not a legitimate response to a police shooting. And the looting and the arson were unacceptable. And as it progressed, it became more and more distant from the issue of racial justice. It was violence for violence’s sake.
And once again, we saw the hijacking of a protest by a hardcore group of radicals who were carrying out, planning a coordinated, violent attack on law enforcement, on public property, and on private property. And that can’t be tolerated.
These are the same people, many of them who came from out of town. Out of 175 arrests, 100 were from out of town. And some — these are the same people using the same tactics that have been used in various cities: Washington, D.C., Atlanta, Chicago, now Kenosha, Portland. And they use these black-bloc tactics; throwing projectiles at police and literally trying to inflict injuries on police, arson, and rioting.
They came equipped as — even the mayor of Washington acknowledged — they come equipped to fight. And it’s completely unacceptable, and the state is the first line of defense. If local leaders are committed to keeping the public safe, it can be done.
And while it’s slow in getting off the starting block, this is an example that when you have the local political leadership backing the police, you have the state willing to put in the resources in terms of National Guard, and the federal government able to come up with support such as the FBI, the Marshals, and ATF who have some special skills and forensic ability to help, there will be peace on the streets.
And there’s going to be accountability. What people don’t see is that, in all of these cities, there are task forces of federal and state officers reviewing all the video that we can get our hands on. And when we are able to identify people who committed crimes in these riots, going all the way back to the beginning, whether they’re burning police cars or throwing rocks at people — which are deadly — they will be prosecuted. That’s a large-scale effort, and it’s going to continue.
So I can — I can tell you, Mr. President, that as far as the federal government is concerned, we welcome the opportunity to work with state and local to deal with this public safety issue.
Law enforcement is used to working together. We do a good job when we’re allowed to work together. This is no different than dealing with violent crime where we work together. We can achieve results. And the federal government is willing to use all our tools and all our laws to bring these people to justice.
Thank you.

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