COLUMBIA, S.C. (WCBD) – South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson is working with state and local leaders to protect law-abiding protesters, police, and property.
In a press release on Monday, Attorney General Alan Wilson said short-term efforts are underway to arrest individuals who commit violence or vandalism during protests and said they are looking at a more long-term response.
“Our priorities are to protect people’s lives and property, and we also want to protect the First Amendment rights of the peaceful protesters who want their voices heard,” Attorney General Alan Wilson said. “For those people who are trying to hijack these protests to instigate violence and destruction, we’ll do everything in our power to hold them accountable to the fullest extent of the law.”
Wilson is working closely with the U.S. Attorney’s Office, state and local law enforcement agencies, and local solicitors, to coordinate the response to protests that escalate.
His is also working with officials to see if there are outside groups who are instigating violence or property damage, “whether it’s white supremacists, gangs, Antifa or some other group,” he said.
“We should stand together in support of a citizen’s or community’s right to peacefully protest and voice their anger without fear of being caught up in violence instigated by others. We should all stand together in condemning the violent and destructive actions of those who are exploiting a tragedy so that they can justify vandalism, theft, and absolute lawlessness. There is no justification for destroying or stealing someone else’s property. There is no justification for threatening innocent people and we will not tolerate it,” Attorney General Wilson said.