Cities and communities across the country are being damaged and destroyed as protests have largely turned into riots.
President Donald Trump, Attorney General Bill Barr, and many others have warned that Antifa members played a role in exacerbating the protests and turning them violent.
And a new report lends credence to those claims.
As noted by the Washington Examiner, police arrested three people whom they say are members of Antifa for looting a Target in Austin, Texas, late last month.
The Travis County District Attorney’s Office said the three people — identified as Lisa Hogan, Samuel Miller, and Skye Elder — were among a group of about 20 people who broke into the building, damaged property, and stole around $20,000 worth of goods.
Hogan was charged with riot and burglary of a building, Miller was charged with criminal mischief and burglary of a building, and Elder was charged for burglary of a building.
District Attorney Margaret Moore said the three people “are known members of a local anti-government group, which is a self-identified communist/socialist ANTIFA group.”
“While I fully support the rights of freedom of speech and assembly, I cannot tolerate the subversion of peaceful protest by engaging in wanton destruction and theft,” Moore said. “These arrests are important to protecting not only the property owners but, even more importantly, the peaceful protesters whose message should be heard.”
The statement said there is an ongoing investigation involving the Austin Police Department, the Travis County District Attorney’s Office, and the FBI.
“The violence, threat to life, and destruction of property we have seen in Austin and other parts of the country jeopardize the rights and safety of all citizens, including peaceful demonstrators,” said Christopher Combs, a special agent in charge of the FBI’s San Antonio Division.
Barr has also taken aim at Antifa amid the violence, saying “many places” across the country were seeing violent protests spurred by “anarchic” and “far-left extremist groups.”
He added that agitators were using “Antifa like tactics” and that many of them were traveling from out of state to participate in the protests.
Last week, Barr announced the Justice Department would be taking serious action.
“We must have law and order on our streets and in our communities,” Barr declared at a press conference.
“It is a federal crime to cross state lines or to use interstate facilities to incite or participate in violent rioting,” he explained, adding, “We will enforce these laws.”
Barr was referring to the Anti-Riot Act, a 1968 law that states those convicted under its provisions can face a punishment of up to half a decade in prison.
His remarks came in light of protests–turned–riots that first began in Minnesota after video emerged last week of a now-former Minneapolis police officer kneeling on an unarmed black man’s neck for more than eight minutes, leading to his apparent death.
Derek Chauvin, the police officer, was arrested late Friday morning and charged with third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter for the death of George Floyd.
Trump announced last weekend that the U.S. government will designate the far-left group Antifa as a terrorist organization.
Antifa is a violent group of hardcore leftists who wear masks, riot gear, and many seek to inflict violence against anyone who supports Trump.