Barr Says ‘Black Lives Matter’ Doesn’t Care About Black Lives

The Black Lives Matter movement doesn’t care about Black lives but instead wants to use African Americans who were killed at the hands of police as “props” to advance its political agenda, Attorney General William Barr said.

“They’re not interested in Black lives, they’re interested in props,” Barr said Wednesday night while speaking at an event on constitutional law in Arlington, Virginia. “A small number of Blacks were killed by police during conflict with police — usually less than a dozen a year — who they can use as props to achieve a much broader political agenda.”

The provocative comment was one of several that the nation’s top law enforcement officer made as he took on hot-button issues, including criticizing his own lower-level prosecutors as acting like “head hunters” in overzealous prosecutions. He said he, as attorney general, and other political appointees at the Justice Department are ultimately responsible for making decisions about prosecutions.

Barr’s remarks about Black Lives Matter come as the U.S. is reeling over several highly-charged episodes in which police have killed Black Americans, prompting protests in multiple cities. The victims include George Floyd, an unarmed Black man who died in police custody in Minneapolis in May after an officer pressed his knee into Floyd’s neck.

How ‘Black Lives Matter’ Became a U.S. Protest Cry: QuickTake

Barr — who said “who can quarrel with the proposition Black lives matter” — suggested he thinks the issue of Black-on-Black crime is being overshadowed by police killings of minorities.

“I view the question of Black lives as not only keeping people alive but also having prosperity and flourishing in their communities,” Barr said. “Most deaths in the inner city of young Black males below the age of 44, the leading cause of death is being shot by another Black person. And that’s crime.”

As attorney general, Barr has been President Donald Trump’s point person on responding to waves of protests across the nation that followed the death of Floyd. The president has positioned himself as the “law and order” candidate in the November election against his Democratic opponent, Joe Biden.

“The left likes to talk about dealing with the root causes, but all their solutions depend on peaceful streets at the end of the day,” Barr said. “Education, after-school activities, all this stuff depends on peace.”

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