U.S. Attorney Keefe And FBI Warn That Those Inciting Violence And Crime

U.S. Attorney Keefe And FBI Warn That Those Inciting Violence And Crime Will Face Federal Charges

(STL.News) – Attorney General William P. Barr has directed federal law enforcement
actions aimed at apprehending and charging violent criminal agitators who have taken over peaceful
protests and are engaging in violations of federal law.  While to date, communities within the
Northern District of Florida have not encountered the level of unrest seen in other parts of the
state and nation, United States Attorney Lawrence Keefe and the Federal Bureau of Investigation
(FBI) are employing the FBI’s Joint Terrorism Task Force (JTTF) to identify any criminal organizers
and instigators, coordinate federal resources with state and local partners, and seek federal
prosecutions.

“Citizens across the Northern District of Florida are exercising their right to protest guaranteed
by the Constitution, and we will do everything possible to ensure that they are allowed to do so in
a safe, secure environment,” U.S. Attorney Keefe said.  “However, we cannot condone – and will not
tolerate – agitators who attempt to hijack peaceful rallies in order to incite violence and
criminal behavior.  Working with our federal, state, and local partners, we will stop them, arrest
them, and prosecute them whenever and wherever necessary.”

“A duty and privilege of the FBI is to protect citizens as they exercise their First Amendment
rights,” said Rachel Rojas, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI Jacksonville Division.  “While we
fully support the rights of peaceful protestors, when people abuse those rights to invoke violence,
federal law will be enforced.  We will continue to work with our local, state, and federal partners
to apprehend and charge violent instigators, and coordinate with the U.S. Attorney’s offices to
address any federal violations.  We advise individuals taking part in protest activities to remain
aware of their immediate surroundings and to report any suspicious activity to law
enforcement.”

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