While speaking at a United States Department of Justice (DOJ) ceremony honoring police officers on Tuesday (December 3), Attorney General William Barr said that those who don’t show “respect” for law enforcement could lose access to police protection, The Huffington Post reports.
The AG railed against police protests while giving a speech at the ceremony for the Attorney General’s Award for Distinguished Service in Policing. “Today, the American people have to focus on something else, which is the sacrifice and the service that is given by our law enforcement officers,” Barr said. “And they have to start showing, more than they do, the respect and support that law enforcement deserves.” The AG continued, “If communities don’t give that support and respect, they might find themselves without the police protection they need.”
Barr didn’t specifically refer to a particular community, but The Huffington Post spoke to Jeb Fain, a spokesperson from liberal super PAC American Bridge, about the AG’s clear reference to people of color. “The Attorney General isn’t being subtle and that shouldn’t surprise us considering this administration’s record,” Fain said in a statement to the outlet. “When it comes to communities of color, he sees justice and equal protection under the law as subject to conditions.”
“Barr’s words are as revealing as they are disturbing—flagrantly dismissive of the rights of Americans of color,” Fain continued. “…Disrespectful to countless law enforcement officers who work hard to serve their communities, and full of a continuing disregard for the rule of law.”
Since he became AG in February of this year, Barr has been consistent in his hard stance against anyone who dares to protest police officers, The Washington Post reports:
As attorney general, Barr has attacked liberal district attorneys who have pushed for police accountability in cities like Philadelphia and St. Louis and suggested that there should be “zero tolerance for resisting police.”
The Post reports Barr also said in Tuesday’s speech that police should be celebrated in the streets in the same way that deployed troops are applauded after returning home:
“When police officers roll out of their precincts every morning, there are no crowds along the highway cheering them on, and when you go home at the end of the day, there’s no ticker-tape parade,” he said, echoing virtually word-for-word comments he made in August to the Fraternal Order of Police.
Barr went on to say that Americans should stop protesting law enforcement officers “fighting an unrelenting, neverending fight against criminal predators in our society,” according to The Post.
The DOJ so far has not commented on Barr’s remarks.