Tuesday, June 2, 2020

U.S. Attorney Craig Carpenito issues statement against violence



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United States AttorneyDistrict of New Jersey

As I said in the wake of the despicable hate crimes committed in Jersey City last December, we are confronting problems in this state and this country that I cannot believe we are still facing at this point in our history. I emphatically reject the idea that violence is the solution to those problems. I am proud of the people of Newark, Camden and elsewhere who have raised their voices in peaceful protest to seek justice for George Floyd and the many other victims like him, and to call for change.

A few individuals are using these protests as cover to commit violent acts and damage our communities. They are not honoring the memory of George Floyd. They do not work to ensure justice for his memory, his family or his loved ones. They hide behind his name to further their own agendas. They may think that they can worsen the divide that responsible community, civic and governmental leaders have engaged with one another to try to close for years. They are wrong.

I know this engagement works because I see the impact of productive community and law enforcement partnerships every day in Newark, Camden, and elsewhere. As I watch the police and the community grow together, I see crime go down. I know that members of the community intervened during the past several days to prevent a few individuals from turning a peaceful protest violent. I commend their brave stand, and I say to them: we will not allow the actions of the lawless few to silence the voice of the many.

The U.S. Attorney’s Office will continue to protect the right of all people to assemble and protest peacefully, without interruption from those bent on violence or destruction. We will continue to investigate and prosecute those police officers who abuse their power through the unlawful use of force and other violations of our citizens’ civil rights. We will also intervene wherever individuals try to distract from these valid causes by engaging in riots, arson and looting. We will bring all of these wrongdoers to justice.

Our work sends a strong message: New Jersey will not tolerate the victimization of our people, our cities, our businesses, our law enforcement and our government. Justice will prevail.