Destruction of public property cannot be condoned or tolerated, says Michael Sherwin, U.S. attorney for District of Columbia.
U.S. Attorney for the District of Columbia Michael Sherwin vowed on “Tucker Carlson Tonight” Thursday that the federal government “will use all resources” to protect monuments “both in the D.C. area and throughout the United States” over the July 4 holiday weekend.
The Department of Homeland Security is deploying a special unit across the country to protect monuments and statues from a fresh wave of vandalism and destruction like that which sprung from protests following the May 25 death of George Floyd in Minneapolis police custody.
So-called Rapid Deployment Teams (RDTs) from the Protecting American Communities Task Force (PACT), which consist of law enforcement officers specially trained in areas such as crowd control and riot control, will be dispatched to Portland, Seattle and Washington D.C. Additional RDTs will be dispatched regionally so that they can be flown into any other area within a few hours should unrest begin in other cities across the U.S.
Sherwin told host Tucker Carlson that federal prosecutors have brought charges in 150 cases “related to the destruction of federal property” as well as for “a litany of other crimes that have been lost in the shuffle,” including arson and murder. He added that the federal government has leveraged local governments throughout the United States to address local criminal offenses such as theft and assault and battery.
“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 added that it has been a “work in progress” to identify the “command and control” structure of groups whose members have been charged with criminal offenses.
“We have not identified that whole architecture yet,” he said.”
Earlier Thursday, federal law enforcement officials arrested a man they described as a “ringleader” in the recent attempt to destroy the Andrew Jackson statue in Lafayette Square near the White House.
Law enforcement sources tell Fox News that Jason Charter was arrested at his residence without incident and charged with destruction of federal property. He was arrested by the FBI and U.S. Park Police as part of a joint task force.
These sources add that Charter has connections to Antifa and was in a leadership role on the night of June 22 when a large group of protesters tried to pull down the Jackson statue.
Fox News’ Adam Shaw and Jake Gibson contributed to this report.