Barr was speaking at the White House beside President Donald Trump, who announced he will “surge” federal law enforcement officers to Chicago and other American cities in an expansion of the Justice Department program known as Operation Legend.

“We had that terrible death in Minneapolis,” Barr said, referring to Floyd’s death in police custody, “but then we had this extreme reaction that has demonized police and called for the defunding of police departments. And what we have seen then is a significant increase in violent crime in many cities. And this rise is a direct result of the attack on the police forces and the weakening of police forces.”

Earlier in his remarks, Barr alluded to the “Black Lives Matter” movement, which has called for protests against police brutality. “The leading cause of death for young Black males is homicide,” the attorney general said. “Every one of those lives matter.”