Barr defends aggressive federal response to protests

WASHINGTON (AP) — Attorney General William Barr defended the aggressive federal law enforcement response to civil unrest in America as he testified for the first time before the House Judiciary Committee. He pushed back against angry, skeptical Democrats who said President Donald Trump’s administration is unconstitutionally suppressing dissent. The hearing, held Tuesday as the late civil rights icon John Lewis lay in state steps away in the Capitol rotunda, highlighted the wide election-year gulf between the two parties on police brutality and systemic racism in law enforcement, which Barr argued does not exist. Massive protests have sparked unrest across the nation following the death of George Floyd at the hands of Minneapolis police and calls for reform have grown louder.