Violence being committed amid nationwide unrest has not been perpetrated by “white supremacists,” according to a new analysis.
In an assessment of the protests, which have at times turned into all-out riots, the Department of Homeland Security dumped cold water on a narrative that groups of white supremacists have been engaging in widespread disturbances, Reuters reported.
After viewing some of the department findings, the outlet reported that “opportunists,” including those affiliated with the far-left group antifa, are “contributing to the violence.”
“There was no evidence, however, that white supremacists were causing violence at any of the protests, the document said.”
Department analysts did find evidence that some white supremacists were among extremists contributing to unrest online, according to the report.
DHS spokesman Alexei Woltornist told Reuters that the agency would “hold those responsible for the unrest accountable.”
Barr blamed leftist groups for the unrest Saturday.
“Unfortunately, with the rioting that is occurring in many of our cities around the country, the voices of peaceful protest are being hijacked by violent radical elements,” Barr said in a statement released by the Justice Department.
“In many places, it appears the violence is planned, organized, and driven by anarchistic and far left extremists, using Antifa-like tactics,” he added.
Trump, meanwhile, has taken a hardline stance against such groups, including antifa.
“It’s ANTIFA and the Radical Left. Don’t lay the blame on others!” the president tweeted on Saturday.
It’s ANTIFA and the Radical Left. Don’t lay the blame on others!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) May 30, 2020
Citing two anonymous DHS sources, Reuters claimed those officials “had seen little evidence” to place blame on leftist groups.
On Saturday, Democrats and some media reporters began to push a narrative that white supremacists were behind the violence.
Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey took Twitter to blame the violence in his city — where George Floyd died on Memorial Day after a police officer knelt on his neck for several minutes — on outside groups, including white supremacists and foreign nationals.
“We are now confronting white supremacists, members of organized crime, out of state instigators, and possibly even foreign actors to destroy and destabilize our city and our region,” Frey wrote.
We are now confronting white supremacists, members of organized crime, out of state instigators, and possibly even foreign actors to destroy and destabilize our city and our region.
— Mayor Jacob Frey (@MayorFrey) May 30, 2020
Soon, a number of media outlets, political pundits and reporters ran with speculation blaming white supremacists for the violence.
So now, the attorney general, Bill Barr, is attempting to pin the anarchy and infiltration, which is already documented as coming from white nationalist groups, on “left leaning” ANTIFA groups. The goal is to force the media to repeat that. What is his proof?
— Joy Reid (@JoyAnnReid) May 30, 2020
This tweet comes as officials in Minnesota are investigating whether outsiders, including white supremacists, are inciting riots. https://t.co/bKXbcIE5R7
— Abby D. Phillip (@abbydphillip) May 30, 2020
Let’s be honest.
1. Yes, white supremacists are rioting & trying to sabotage.
2. Yes, anarchists are rioting & causing chaos.
3. And yes, some from the community are rioting & looting.
4. But the vast, vast majority of people are peacefully demanding justice for George Floyd.
— Joe Walsh (@WalshFreedom) May 31, 2020
Chad Dion Lassiter, the executive director of the Pennsylvania Human Rights Commission, also blamed unrest in the state on white supremacists.
“What I saw was a coordinated effort of looting encouraged by white supremacists who hide behind signs demanding justice while promoting anarchy,” Lassiter said of violence in Philadelphia, according to the Ellwood City Ledger.
The initial DHS assessment of the violence did not support those conclusions.
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