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The Justice Department has begun filing scores of charges against rioters who used the George Floyd incident to loot, burn, and cause damage around the country, including in the nation’s capital.
As reported by CBS News investigative correspondent , charges range from planting explosives, arson, damage to historical property, illegal firearms possession, damage to police vehicles, and in one case, pointing a laser at a law enforcement aircraft, which could have blinded pilots and caused them to crash.
In a tweet, Herridge noted that the Justice Department had launched more than 45 cases against at least 60 suspects.
NOW: Updated list Federal riot cases as of 5:00 pm today from DOJ: +45 cases, +6O people: theft firearms, aiming laser at law enforcement aircraft, damage police cars, placing backpack w/explosives in downtown, arson, damage historic property. @CBSNews https://t.co/B2Irm0er4P pic.twitter.com/OjXv2nG2wF
— Catherine Herridge (@CBS_Herridge) June 10, 2020
Fox News reported that the crackdown on rioters includes charges for firing a green laser at an FBI aircraft flying over the city of Minneapolis, as well as burning the Third Precinct police building in that city and someone impersonating a U.S. Marshal in Orlando.
President Donald Trump has pledged to restore “law & order” while Attorney General William Barr told the network this week that “focused” investigations into members of Antifa and some Right-wing groups were underway as a result of the widespread rioting and looting.
In a document obtained by Fox News the Justice Department describes in “dramatic detail” how some rioters were arrested among the chaos:
For example, Branden Michael Wolfe, 23, was spotted on June 3 “wearing body armor and a law enforcement duty belt and carrying a baton” as he tried to enter a home improvement store in St. Paul, Minnesota. Wolfe had previously worked as a security guard at the store, but was “fired earlier that day after referring to social media posts about stealing items from the Third Precinct,” the DOJ said.
Wolfe was accused of taking part in the looting and burning of the Minneapolis Police Department’s Third Precinct building last month as peaceful protests in the wake of George Floyd’s death turned violent.
Wolfe admitted to police that he took items from the demolished police station after his arrest. He was caught wearing body armor with a piece of duct tape bearing his name on the back of it and had other items in his possession including “including a riot helmet, 9mm pistol magazine, police radio, and a police issue overdose kit,” KIMT reported.
On May 31, Wesley Mobley Jr., 36, was “forced to stop his vehicle because of passing protesters,” the Justice Department said, according to Fox News. Then, said federal authorities, Mobley got out of his car and pulled out “what appeared to be a law enforcement badge, waved it at the protesters, and stated something to the effect of ‘Do you want to get arrested? Do you want to go to jail?’”
At that, a protester reportedly said, “He’s a Marshal.”
Later, officers were told that Mobley caused a disturbance while he wore a gun in his waistband, and they moved to arrest him. Officers said he was allegedly holding BB gun replica of a Glock handgun, not a real gun, as well as metal handcuffs and a silver badge bearing the words “United States Marshal.”
Mobley has two prior convictions for impersonating a police officer.
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