Federal prosecutors have brought charges – including arson and murder – in 150 cases connected to rioting and protests that followed the death of a black man in police custody in Minneapolis, the U.S. attorney for the District of Columbia said.
Many of the cases are "related to the destruction of federal property,” D.C. prosecutor Michael Sherwin said on the “Tucker Carlson Tonight” show on Thursday. Sherwin added that charges also include "a litany of other crimes that have been lost in the shuffle."
“In addition to the arson cases, there are several other federal charges that a been levied across the United States ... related to murder in California, to arson throughout the United States, and destruction of properties,” he said.
At least 17 people have died as a result of the riots, The Epoch Times reported in early June.
The figure cited by Sherwin is a three-fold increase in the number of arrests reported by Attorney General William Barr a month ago.
Among the new arrests were four men charged with attempting to topple the statue of former President Andrew Jackson in Lafayette Park across from the White House in Washington in late June, including self-described Antifa activist Jason Charter, who was accused of “directing others.”
He was also charged with vandalizing the statue of Confederate Gen. Albert Pike, according to the Washington Examiner.
Sherwin said the Department of Justice has also helped local prosecutors with “hundreds” of cases such as assault and battery and theft.
“People can’t unilaterally decide what is right and what is wrong,” he said. “And If those people do make that decision on their own and take the law into their own hands, the law will come after them and the United States will use federal resources to charge you if you’re inciting violence or destroying these monuments.
“Obviously we will use all resources to protect these monuments both in the D.C. area and throughout the United States, but we are also using these resources not only to charge federal cases … but also what people don’t realize is the fact that under the direction of the attorney general, the FBI, and other federal law enforcement officials have leveraged and worked with local officials throughout the United States to charge hundreds of other cases.”
Sherwin said some of those charged are affiliated with radical groups, but the majority are individuals who self-identify with the fringe organizations.
"There appears to be – with some of these individuals, there is a loose affiliation with some extremist groups on the left and on the right and it appears that the bulk of, if not all the individuals arrested related to some of these violent acts are self-radicalized or lone wolves that self-identify with some of these groups," he said.
Sherwin said the DOJ is working to identify the “command and control” of the groups and that the “whole architecture” has not been determined.
His comments come a week after Barr directed the Justice Department to create a task force targeting “anti-government extremists.”
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