The FBI and local law authorities will hold a press conference on Monday morning to discuss how they plan to “hold accountable” persons who committed “significant crimes,” such as looting, burglary, robbery, vandalism, arson, and assault with great bodily injury, during the recent protests and demonstrations in Los Angeles County.
Dubbed “The SAFE L.A. Task Force,” the group claims it is conducting criminal investigations on those participating in the local protests that started on May 26 and escalated from blocking the 101 Freeway to torching and looting.
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The press conference will be held at 9 AM at the Los Angeles Police Headquarters at 100 West First Street.
Officials have claimed “hundreds of thousands” in property damage stemming from the weeks of protests and subsequent violence. More than 2,700 arrests were made in Los Angeles County to date related to the protests. Nationwide, more than 11,000 people were arrested on various charges during protests that spun out of control.
The SAFE L.A. Task Force consists of agents from the Los Angeles Police Department, Los Angeles Fire Department, Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), United States Attorney’s Office, Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office, Los Angeles City Attorney’s Office, Beverly Hills Police Department, Santa Monica Police Department, Torrance Police Department.
Speakers will include LAPD Chief Michel Moore, LAFD Fire Chief Ralph Terrazas, Paul Delacourt, Assistant Director in Charge, FBI’s Los Angeles Field Office, and LAPD Deputy Chief Kris Pitcher, Detective Bureau.
The press conference follows an executive order signed Friday by President Donald Trump to protect federal monuments from vandalism. That order “reinforces” existing federal law criminalizing the destruction of federal monuments.
The existing law provides for a fine and up to ten years in prison for those who vandalize a federal monument, and Trump has vowed to enforce that law, promising “Long prison terms for these lawless acts against our Great Country!” Trump said in a tweet.
Trump’s order acknowledges the right to advocate for a monument’s removal. “But no individual or group has the right to damage, deface, or remove any monument by use of force.”
The order also threatens to withhold federal funding from state and local law enforcement agencies that “fail to protect monuments, memorials, and statues.”
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