KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Missouri’s Attorney General says he plans to partner with Missouri’s two U.S. Attorneys to prosecute those causing violence and rioting in the state during protests.
Hundreds have gathered in Kansas City, St. Louis and several other large Missouri cities to protest the death of George Floyd and police brutality in the past few days.
But particularly in Kansas City and St. Louis, what started as peaceful protests eventually turned into what police called unlawful assemblies.
In Kansas City and St. Louis this weekend, protesters damaged vehicles and buildings and threw rocks, water bottles and other objects and, ultimately, officers fired tear gas to get crowds to disperse.
Missouri Attorney General Eric Schmitt said citizens have the right to protest peacefully and should be able to do so safely.
“However, those who seek to use these protests to destroy property and commit acts of violence, including those who come to Missouri from out of state, will be held accountable for their actions by federal and state authorities,” Schmitt said in a news release. “Those acts of destruction and violence will not be tolerated.”
Schmitt noted two federal arrests in St. Louis that his office and the U.S. Attorneys for the Eastern and Western Districts are now working on.
On Saturday, one man was arrested and charged in the St. Louis area for allegedly distributing information relating to explosives and destructive devices, Schmitt said.
On Sunday, another person was arrested and charged for intent to organize, promote, encourage, participate in or carry on a riot.
“Those who cross the line from lawful protesters to criminal agitators will be arrested and prosecuted,” said Tim Garrison, U.S. attorney for the Western District of Missouri. “We are working alongside our state and local partners to maintain order and public safety.”
FOX4 reached out to spokesman for attorney general about any arrests they are prosecuting in the KC area. They said right now that’s only happening in St. Louis, but if cases do come up in Kansas City, they’re prepared to work with U.S. Attorney Garrison to potentially prosecute those cases.