U.S. Attorney, District Attorney Warn Violence Won’t be Tolerated During Inauguration Protests
Media Relations Director Kelly Thornton (619) 546-9726 or Kelly.Thornton@usdoj.gov
NEWS RELEASE SUMMARY – January 13, 2021
SAN DIEGO (STL.News) U.S. Attorney Robert Brewer and San Diego County District Attorney Summer Stephan said today their offices will not tolerate violence during inauguration-related protests and will work closely with federal, state, and local partners to aggressively pursue those involved in criminal activity at such events in San Diego and Imperial counties.
The FBI has received information indicating “armed protests” are being planned in all 50 states and the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C., in the days leading up to President-elect Joe Biden’s inauguration on January 20.
“We are issuing the strongest warning possible to anyone who is planning violence in connection with the inauguration,” Brewer said. “If you repeat the despicable behavior we saw at the Capitol last week, and if you disrespect our great democracy by bringing harm to people or property in a display of hatred and rage, the consequences will be swift and strong. You will be found, and you will be charged. Don’t let that become part of your story.”
“I want to be clear that my office will prosecute those who break state laws when they choose violence, hate, assault or vandalism to harm our community—including attacks on fellow citizens and peace officers,” DA Stephan said. “I call on our community members to work hand in hand with law enforcement to keep our neighborhoods safe and to honor our democracy by reporting suspicious activity. If you see something, say something.”
Both U.S. Attorney Brewer and DA Stephan condemned the January 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol:
“Protesting is an inalienable right recognized by the U.S. Constitution; rioting is a crime,” DA Stephan said. “The insurrection that occurred in the U.S. Capitol last week was a despicable, anti-American attack on the democratic fabric of our nation. It’s a wakeup call that locally, we must work together to keep our community safe, including alerting law enforcement to the threat of violence.”
“The attack on Congress was a shameful and reprehensible affront to our democracy. Our Constitution protects the rights of free speech and assembly, but it does not protect mob violence, threats to harm public officials, assaults on law enforcement officers, or damage to government buildings,” said Brewer.