Attorney General William Barr gave a heated speech about being tough on crime to the Fraternal Order of Police (FOP) this week. FOP is the US’ largest fraternal police organization. After praising the bravery of police officers, Barr went on to say public figures in the media and elsewhere should “underscore the need to ‘Comply first, and, if warranted, complain later.'”

“And those who resist must be prosecuted for that crime,” Barr added. “We must have zero tolerance for resisting police. This will save lives.”

His rhetoric comes when law enforcement is under heightened scrutiny in the US over allegations of systemic brutality and bigotry in some communities. Barr also singled out local prosecutors who he criticized for being “social justice reformers” and soft on crime.

“To my mind, there is no more noble profession than serving as a police officer,” Barr said. “You put your own life and well-being on the line to protect your communities.”

He added: “Your families spend anxious nights, so we can sleep in peace. You never know what your day may bring — what uncertainty, danger, or threat you might face. But you still get up, put on your uniform and badge, kiss your loved ones, and head out to face whatever risks might come your way.”

But Barr went on to say that police officers are “fighting a different type of war … an unrelenting, never-ending fight against criminal predators in our society.”  […]