Barr holds press conference amid protests from George Floyd: NPR

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Attorney General William Barr, pictured in the Oval Office on May 28, is holding a press conference Thursday with other Justice Department officials.

Brendan Smialowski / AFP via Getty Images

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Brendan Smialowski / AFP via Getty Images

Attorney General William Barr, pictured in the Oval Office on May 28, is holding a press conference Thursday with other Justice Department officials.

Brendan Smialowski / AFP via Getty Images

Updated at 1:40 p.m. ET

The Department of Justice held a press conference Thursday amid national protests against racial inequality and the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis.

Floyd died after being trapped in the neck by a police officer, causing massive protests across the country. The now fired officer, Derek Chauvin, was charged with second degree murder.

Attorney General William Barr said it is “undeniable that many African Americans lack confidence in our American criminal justice system,” adding, “This has to change.”

He called Thursday a “day of mourning,” referring to the Floyd memorial scheduled for later today.

Commenting on a video showing the conduct of the police during Floyd’s arrest, Barr said: “There is no way that a normal human being could not be struck in the heart with horror. “

Barr said the aftermath of Floyd’s death has challenged the rule of law in the form of “lawlessness, violent riots, arson, looting of businesses and public property , attacks on law enforcement officials and the innocent ”.

“We have evidence that Antifa and other similar extremist groups, as well as actors of different political beliefs, have been implicated in the incitement and participation in the violent activity,” said Barr. “And we also see foreign actors playing on all sides to exacerbate the violence. “

Barr says the government is dealing with a “brew of witches from different organizations” fueling violence.

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