Prosecutors in Travis County, Austin, Texas, charged three protesters affiliated with the leftist anti-government effort known as Antifa with looting a Target store. The alleged looting by the anarchists occurred during George Floyd protests on May 31 in the Texas capital city.
Fox 7 in Austin reported the militants were arrested and charged with burglary, looting, and property damage at the Target store in Capitol Plaza. The Travis County District Attorney charged the Antifa terrorists following an investigation by the Austin Police Department and the FBI. Officials said the lo0ters caused losses of $20,000 in property damage and stolen goods as a result of that incident.
The local Fox affiliate wrote: “The DA says the three arrested are known members of a local anti-governmental group which is self-identified as a communist/socialist ANTIFA group. All three are from Austin.”
— Bryce Newberry (@Bryce_Newberry) June 7, 2020
Police arrested Lisa Hogan (27), Samuel Miller (21), and Skye Elder (23).
The article quoted APD Chief Brian Manley: “These acts of vandalism and looting will not be tolerated. We appreciate the partnership with our local and federal partners in apprehending these suspects and bringing them to justice.”
Travis County District Attorney Margaret Moore was attributed with saying, “While I fully support the rights of freedom of speech and assembly, I cannot tolerate the subversion of peaceful protest by engaging in wanton destruction and theft.” “These arrests are important to protecting not only the property owners but, even more importantly, the peaceful protesters whose message should be heard.”
Breitbart Texas reported that protestors vandalized the Texas Capitol building and a Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) trooper vehicle outside the Governor’s mansion on Saturday, May 30. Rioters also turned over a DPS vehicle on the Capitol grounds.
A global security analyst said the violence he saw in Austin that weekend led authorities to Antifa. Ben West told KXAN: “They try to portray themselves as the good guys, fighting fascism and fighting police violence, obviously all the things people look at say oh, yeah…we should all fight fascism and not tolerate police violence, but obviously Antifa is associated with more violent tactics, property damage even attacks on individuals.”
On Tuesday, after the rioting in Austin, DPS Director Steve McCraw told reporters in Dallas that Antifa groups were organized in Texas, the CBS affiliate reported. He added, “They self-identify, so it’s the same people you’ve seen before in these protests, and they’re more often involved in these counter-protests are the same individuals involved right now using this as an opportunity. They can’t help themselves.”
Texas’ DPS director said at the press conference: “The protests and the looting of Target in Austin, okay that was done and organized by an Antifa webpage. And of course, the surveillance that was provided over the Internet to identify where law enforcement resources were staged, was done over Antifa accounts.” He told reporters there was also evidence of Antifa activity in the Dallas-Fort Worth, Texas area.
Colonel McCraw added, “I don’t mind advertising this. We do have special agents embedded, trying to identify criminals that are leveraging, or using this as an opportunity, exploiting these demonstrations.”
Special agents at DPS in Texas will be working with Texas Rangers, federal prosecutors, and the FBI, to identify individuals who cross state lines to incite violence and looting, CBSDFW reported.
President Trump made headlines on May 31st when he announced plans to designate Antifa as a terrorist organization, as reported by Breitbart News.
The president also congratulated the National Guard for shutting down the “ANTIFA led anarchists, among others” in Minneapolis, Minnesota on May 30th.
Congratulations to our National Guard for the great job they did immediately upon arriving in Minneapolis, Minnesota, last night. The ANTIFA led anarchists, among others, were shut down quickly. Should have been done by Mayor on first night and there would have been no trouble!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) May 31, 2020
United States Attorney General William Barr released a statement on May 31 stating that violence “instigated and carried out by Antifa and other similar groups in connection with the rioting is domestic terrorism and will be treated accordingly.”
U.S. Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX) condemned the terrorist group “for exploiting the just and peaceful protests of those honoring George Floyd.”
Breitbart News reported in an exclusive this week that the Texas senator would be calling out Antifa on the Senate floor for the violence they have caused across the country. The speech followed the Texas senator’s call for the Constitution Subcommittee of the Senate Judiciary Committee to investigate the terrorist organization. In 2019, Senator Cruz asked the FBI to investigate Antifa for violations under the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO).
Lana Shadwick is a writer and legal analyst for Breitbart News. She is a trial lawyer who previously served as a prosecutor and family court associate judge in Texas. You can reach Shadwick at Lana@LanaShadwick.com.