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Federal Government Threatens to Cut Off Funds to Cities that Fail to Quell Violent Protests

Protesters throw flaming debris over a fence at the Mark O. Hatfield US Courthouse in Portland, Ore. (AP Photo/Noah Berger)
Protesters throw flaming debris over a fence at the Mark O. Hatfield US Courthouse in Portland, Ore. (AP Photo/Noah Berger)

When protests began after George Floyd's death, many Americans supported them believing peaceful demonstrations would help address a grave injustice.

Nearly five months later, the nature of those protests and support for them have changed dramatically.

From Portland and Seattle to Kenosha and New York, cities large and small have been burned, looted, and parts of them destroyed. What started as peaceful demonstrations have turned increasingly violent and destructive.

In recent weeks, counter-protestors, some of them armed, have been showing up at the demonstrations to confront the unrest, adding to the tension and, in some cases, to the violence. 

Former US Attorney General John Ashcroft joins Pat Robertson on Wednesday's 700 Club to discuss the current riots in the country, and what the federal government's role is in helping to quell the violence.

New polling data from an Economist/YouGov poll shows that 68 percent of Americans say they would feel unsafe if they lived in a large city.

As cities and states fail to quell the violence, the federal government is stepping in. Not with more boots on the ground, but by threatening to withhold money to those cities.

The Department of Justice has named Portland, Seattle, and New York City as jurisdictions where local governments are "permitting anarchy, violence, and destruction."

The designation could result in the loss of federal funds. Attorney General William Bar said, "We cannot allow federal tax dollars to be wasted when the safety of the citizenry hangs in the balance."

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