Historic Number Of Prosecutions Related To Domestic Terrorism In 2020

KAYLEE GREENLEE Reporter

The number of federal prosecutions of cases classified as domestic terrorism reached a historic high following the death of George Floyd in May 2020, the Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse reported Monday.

Over 180 prosecutions of cases including domestic terrorism charges were filed across the U.S. in 2020, the highest number since tracking started 25 years ago, according to the Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse (TRAC). Only 21 cases involving international terrorism were filed in 2020.

“Federal prosecutors also labeled as terrorism prosecutions some cases brought to safeguard critical infrastructure to protect national security, terrorism-related financing offenses, and terrorism-related export enforcement,” according to TRAC.

Nearly 80 of the prosecution were brought in Oregon federal courts relating to violence in Portland, according to TRAC. Protests occurred for over 100 consecutive nights in the city following Floyd’s death with many demonstrations ending in violence and destruction, according to the Department of Justice (DOJ).

Floyd died after a former-Minneapolis police officer knelt on his neck for nearly nine minutes outside of a store, video shows.

Demonstrators targeted law enforcement officials on several occasions in Portland, Oregon, according to the DOJ. A firefighter was hit in the chest with a steel ball launched by a slingshot, police officers were sprayed with bear deterrent and another officer was hit with a wooden shield.

“This violent and senseless criminal conduct does nothing to promote meaningful or positive change. It forces the focus away from racial justice, instills fear in our community, and deters visitors. It is destroying the fabric of a city and a state that we love,” according to the DOJ.

The charges of domestic terrorism included assaulting, resisting or impeding officials; threatening the President and/or successors; knowingly entering or remaining in a restricted building or on restricted grounds; importing and storing explosives; civil disorders; interstate communications; and making threatening communications, according to TRAC.

“In addition, regulatory violations were sometimes the lead charge, such as failure to comply with official signs or creating any hazard on property to persons or things,” according to TRAC.

Some officials categorized incidents under “internal security offenses,” though cases of domestic terrorism held the majority of the 301 cases filed under terrorism and internal security in 2020, according to TRAC.

In 2017, the first year of the Trump Administration, 69 prosecutions related to cases of domestic terrorism were filed, according to TRAC. In 2018 63 prosecutions were made and in 2019, 90 prosecutions were filed.

TRAC did not respond to the Daily Caller News Foundation’s request for comment.

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