AG Schmitt Partners with Attorneys to Prosecute Rioters

Missouri’s Attorney General Eric Schmitt is partnering with U.S. Attorneys to prosecute demonstrators who commit acts of violence during protests in Missouri.

In a Monday news release, the Missouri Attorney General’s Office said it will give the power of prosecution to the U.S. Attorney’s Offices in the Eastern and Western Districts allowing these attorney’s offices to prosecute people who “who commit acts of violence and rioting in Missouri.”

This includes prosecuting individuals who were charged and arrested by federal authorities over the weekend in St. Louis.

“George Floyd’s death is tragic and heartbreaking. Missourians have the right to protest peacefully, and should be able to exercise that right in a safe manner as thousands have done across the country over the last few days,” said Attorney General Schmitt. “However, those who seek to use these protests to destroy property and commit acts of violence, including those who come to Missouri from out of state, will be held accountable for their actions by federal and state authorities. Those acts of destruction and violence will not be tolerated.”
 
Tim Garrison, U.S. Attorney for the Western District of Missouri, stands with the right to peacefully protest. But, he noted that those who choose to take part in acts of violence will be prosecuted.

“Those who cross the line from lawful protestors to criminal agitators will be arrested and prosecuted,” Garrison said. “We are working alongside our state and local partners to maintain order and public safety.”

Similarly, U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Missouri Jeff Jensen said the state will continue to serve Missourians by prosecuting those who violate laws by committing acts of violence.

Additionally, Jensen said prosecution will come for people who cross state lines to participate in violent protests.

“If you travel across state lines to participate in a riot or threaten the safety of our community and its property, you will be prosecuted,” Jensen said.

By Megan Smaltz | KRCG TV

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