Government Officials Blame Organized Groups of ‘Outsiders’ for Intentionally Inciting Violence to Further Division in America

A Chicago Police Department SUV is set on fire near State and Lake streets in the Loop on Saturday. Ashlee Rezin Garcia/Sun-Times

As protests over the death of George Floyd turned violent this weekend in Chicago and other U.S. cities, government officials have begun to blame organized groups they say are intentionally triggering the violence to create division in America.

In Chicago, officials had yet to cite specific groups for helping turn what had started as peaceful protests into full-blown riots on Saturday night. But on Sunday Mayor Lori Lightfoot said the violence “absolutely” was pre-planned.

She pointed to “the number of U-Haul trucks that magically showed up in front of stores” and caravans of cars helping to whisk looted merchandise away.

Asked specifically whether extremist groups were behind the violence, Lightfoot said the city is “working in partnership with the FBI, the U.S. Attorney’s Office, the ATF, particularly their bomb and arson units” to determine that.

“It’s too soon in the course of this investigation for us to be able to say definitively,” the mayor said Sunday. “What I can say, there’s no question that some of the destruction that happened last night, particularly the arson, was absolutely organized and coordinated.”

Chicago Ald. Brian Hopkins (2nd) blamed outsiders for sparking the riots and looting that ensued.

“Despite hundreds of arrests, hundreds more violent criminals remain at large in Chicago, and unverified reports suggest more may be traveling here from other locations, with intent to continue the mayhem,” Hopkins said in a statement. “Of greatest concern is the arsonists who remain at large, as their acts are the most immediate threat to life, as well as property.

“While their plans and intentions for today [Sunday] — and especially tonight after sunset — are difficult to predict with specificity, we must assume they will attempt to engage in more destruction and violence …”

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SOURCE: Chicago Sun-Times