The Justice Department said more than 300 people have been criminally charged in connection to the protests around the country that followed the death of George Floyd in police custody in May.
Arrests have taken place in 29 states throughout the United States, according to a press release from the department. The Justice Department said charges filed include those for crimes such as attempted murder, assault on a law enforcement officer, damaging federal property, and arson.
“Violent opportunists have exploited these demonstrations in various ways,” the department said in a statement.
Over 300 People Facing Federal Charges For Crimes Committed During Nationwide Demonstrations https://t.co/db0xW3Rr0Q
— Justice Department (@TheJusticeDept) September 24, 2020
The Justice Department said 40 of the 94 U.S. attorneys offices in the country have filed charges for crimes that were “committed adjacent to or under the guise of peaceful demonstrations.” At least 80 of the arrests were made under arson charges, 15 were arrested for damaging federal property, and 35 were charged for assaulting an officer.
Several cities, including Minneapolis, Kenosha, Portland, and Washington, D.C., have struggled to control riots that have precipitated out of protests against racial injustice and police brutality. The Justice Department noted the riots have caused millions of dollars in damage and that those arrested could face lengthy sentences.
“Several of these charges carry significant maximum prison sentences. For example, felony assault of a federal officer with a dangerous weapon is punishable by up to 20 years in prison. Arson is punishable by up to 20 years in prison with a mandatory minimum sentence of five years in prison,” the department said in the statement.
The Justice Department’s announcement only includes those who have been charged by federal authorities. Hundreds of others have been arrested by local authorities during protests, including more than 100 people arrested in Louisville, Kentucky, on Wednesday night following the indictment announcement for one officer involved in the raid of Breonna Taylor’s home.
Author: Madison Dibble
Source: Washington Examiner: DOJ: Hundreds face federal charges for crimes ‘adjacent to or under the guise of peaceful demonstrations’