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Press Release

U.S. Attorneys in Texas Warn of Charges Against Potential Violent Protesters

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Northern District of Texas

The U.S. Attorneys representing the four districts in Texas have announced their intent to prosecute any crimes committed at the state capitol or otherwise in violation of federal law ahead of upcoming presidential inauguration.

 “Last week’s attack on the U.S. Capitol in D.C. was reprehensible. We will not tolerate that type of behavior from protesters in Austin or anywhere in Texas,” said Acting U.S. Attorney Prerak Shah. “The Department of Justice will always support free speech, but we will never condone violence and destruction.”

Acting U.S. Attorney Shah joins his counterparts – U.S. Attorneys Ryan K. Patrick, Gregg N. Sofer, and Stephen J. Cox, of the Southern, Western, and  Eastern Districts of Texas, respectively – to warn those planning to cross state lines to commit crimes in Texas or at the state capitol.  

As the chief law enforcement officers in each of the federal districts, the U.S. Attorneys will be working with federal, state and local law enforcement throughout the state to aggressively identify acts that violate federal law. The plan is to ensure that anyone who is arrested for committing looting, violence or any other crime related to protests or similar events on or about inauguration day will be processed and held in federal custody pending further criminal proceedings.

The U.S. Attorney’s Office in the District of Columbia (DC) is prosecuting those that have been or will be identified as allegedly committing crimes during the riots at the U.S. Capitol last week. The Texas U.S. Attorneys are working with Department of Justice officials and law enforcement on those prosecutions.


Erin Dooley
Public Affairs

Updated January 13, 2021

Violent Crime