by Catherine Smith
The Daily Caller reports more than 300 people in 29 states and Washington D.C. have been charged with crimes including civil disorder, damaging federal property and attempted murder in connection with the nationwide demonstrations, the Justice Department said in a Thursday statement.
The charges were for “crimes committed adjacent to or under the guise of peaceful demonstrations,” says the DOJ’s statement.
More than 40 of the 94 U.S. Attorneys’ Offices filed charges with 80 people charged with “offenses relating to arson and explosives,” including a man who accidentally set himself on fire after pouring a container of gasoline on U.S. Supreme Court police vehicles. Other charges include felon in possession of a firearm and ammunition, among others, according to the Justice Department.
News of the charges were announced after months of protests and riots across the country following the killing of George Floyd in police custody, following promises by President Trump to enforce “law and order” and quell the unrest.
While peaceful protests have taken place, riots have erupted across the U.S. causing extensive damage to buildings, cars, federal buildings and violence resulting in numerous deaths.
35 people were charged in connection with assaults against law enforcement officers, all but one of which are alleged to have occurred in Oregon which has had demonstrations for 110 days as of Thursday. One man in Portland, is alleged to have struck a U.S. Marshalls Deputy from behind with a wooden baseball bat.
Nearly 30 people were charged with offenses related to civil disorder, which included using social media platforms to incite destruction and assaults.
“In Cleveland, two Pennsylvania men are charged with driving to the city with the intent to participate in a riot and commit acts of violence. In their possession, authorities found a black backpack containing a hammer, two containers of Sterno Firestarter Instant Flame Gel, a can of spray paint, a glass bottle of liquor with a bar-style pour top, a Glock semi-automatic firearm and two magazines loaded with ammunition,” the statement says.
On Monday, the DOJ classified New York City, Portland and Seattle as “anarchist jurisdictions.” The Trump Administration intends to try to cut federal funding to these cities.
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Catherine Smith is a newcomer to Washington D.C. She met, and married an American journalist and moved to D.C from the U.K. She graduated with a B.A in Graphic, Media and Communications and worked in design and retail in the U.K.
Photo “Protest Arrest” by Charles Edward Miller CC BY-SA 2.0