Sens. Tom Cotton of Arkansas and Kelly Loeffler of Georgia just dropped the hammer and put forth a plan to stop the rioter’s cold.
Their Holding Rioters Accountable Act of 2020 will do just that by allowing Bill Barr to block much-needed aid to cities that refuse to prosecute rioters. Specifically, they would give Attorney General William Barr the authority to hold up to 10% of Justice Department grants if prosecutors are “abusing prosecutorial discretion and failing to prosecute crimes arising from riots and other violent protests.”
“What were once peaceful protests have turned violent — even deadly,” Cotton said in a statement Tuesday. “We should do everything in our power to stop these riots and help support local law enforcement.”
“In many cases, local officials and prosecutors have turned a blind eye and allowed the chaos to continue,” Loeffler said. “In Portland, a local prosecutor dismissed charges on 59 individuals connected to the riots, including nine cases involving felony charges such as arson and theft. Protesters across the country have thrown rocks through store windows, set fire to construction sites and spray-painted buildings. This cannot stand. We need to take action to protect businesses and ensure that those who seek to cause mayhem and damage are held accountable for their actions.”
The Bill says: “To withhold a percentage of Federal funding from State and local prosecutors who fail to faithfully prosecute crimes related to protests and riots. This Act may be cited as the ‘‘Holding Rioters Accountable Act of 2020’’.
Opportunistic rioters and violent extremists are destroying public and private property with impunity. Local and Federal law enforcement officers are on the front lines every night attempting to prevent the mass destruction of property.
Law enforcement officers are doing their jobs by arresting those who are found to be commit6 ting the violence and destruction.
In certain jurisdictions, however, local and state prosecutors are turning a blind eye to the destruction and violence.
10 (5) These actions do a disservice to the law enforcement officers faithfully carrying out their responsibility to uphold the rule of law. The Office of Justice Programs of the Department of Justice provided approximately 15 $5,000,000,000 in grants and funding to State and 16 local governments in fiscal year 2020.
District attorney and State attorney general 18 offices have abused the use of prosecutorial discretion and fail to protect private and public property or fail to confront and address violent riots and looting should not receive Federal support.
The purpose of this Act is to provide authority for the Attorney General to withhold Federal grant amounts and other funding provided to State and local prosecutors, district attorneys, and State attorney general offices if such prosecutors or offices fail to faith fully uphold the rule of law by failing to properly prosecute criminal acts committed during riots and protests.
IN GENERAL. — The Attorney General may withhold not more than 10 percent of all amounts that would 11 otherwise be awarded or made available under part JJ of 12 title I of the Omnibus Crime Control and Safe Streets Act 13 of 1968 (34 U.S.C. 10671 et seq.) or a COVID–19 related emergency funding program to a State prosecutor’s office, a district attorney’s office, or a State attorney general’s office in a fiscal year by the Department of Justice if the Attorney General determines, in accordance with subsection (b), that the office has abused the use of prosecutorial discretion by failing to prosecute crimes stemming from riots or other violent or destructive protest activities.”