Heritage Unveils Plan to Rebuild After Riots in American Cities

Heritage Unveils Plan to Rebuild After Riots in American Cities

Aug 6, 2020 2 min read

WASHINGTON – Chaos and violence in the streets of major American cities. Political and media elites unwilling to condemn the violence and those behind it, and instead hiding behind the rhetoric of “peaceful protests.” Millions of Americans afraid at the lack of action by their leaders and wondering when normalcy will return.

Today, The Heritage Foundation released a comprehensive plan for dealing with the violence and getting America back on track – “Rebuilding After Riots.” The 14-part plan takes a holistic look at what policymakers must do to stop the violence, restore confidence in the rule of law, and get Americans back to work and everyday life safely.

The recommendations are divided into four categories, each covering a vital set of actions our leaders must take: protect, prosecute, communicate, and recover.

Heritage Foundation President Kay C. James explained the desperate need for these recommendations:

“No matter their race, socioeconomic status, or place of residence, every American deserves to know that those in positions of authority are working to maintain law and order in our cities. Unfortunately, in recent weeks, far too many government officials have failed even that basic test. The political and cultural elites shielding them from criticism and attempting to hide the truth from the rest of us are only making these problems worse. This set of recommendations is a clarion call for those who still care about restoring peace in our streets, holding accountable those bent on causing anarchy, and reviving our economy. Though many may feel hopeless in this confusing, frustrating time, there are solutions. We urge lawmakers at the federal, state, and local level to consider them carefully. Our country hangs in the balance.”

Lora Ries, Heritage senior research fellow for homeland security affairs, and Zack Smith, legal fellow with Heritage’s Meese Center, had the following to say about the project:

“In a country where the press was doing its job correctly, there would be no doubt about what is happening in our streets and in our cities: organized rioters are taking advantage of social unrest to attack federal law officers. These rioters are engaged in criminal activity in an effort to destroy orderly society, and the local and state politicians who obstruct local law enforcement from protecting their own citizens and property are facilitating this enterprise. Americans deserve better, and it’s time to get our country back on track.”

Read the full list of recommendations here: 14-Step Action Plan for Stopping Targeted Violence in America’s Cities

14 Action Steps to Rebuild After Riots:


  1. Law enforcement leadership: Position additional supervisory law enforcement personnel around federal facilities
  2. Draw a line and hold it.
  3. Seek meetings and communication directly between federal law enforcement officers and local police for coordination and discussions to avoid interference by local politicians.
  4. Local leaders: Provide access to federal judicial system or lose federal funds.


  1. Local prosecutors should: Prosecute the rioters who violate state criminal law.
  2. Prosecute rioters who violate federal law.
  3. State and local politicians should: Refrain from interfering in historical and successful law enforcement cooperation.
  4. Federal officials should: Terminate federal funding to local authorities who refuse to prosecute all crimes fairly.


  1. The police should: Use and release daily body camera footage.
  2. Brief Americans directly on law enforcement actions.
  3. Prosecutors should: Inform the public of crimes committed and of how many criminals involved.
  4. Politicians, business owners, and civil society members should: Plan and execute extensive communications strategies to make the facts known.


  1. State and local governments should: Eliminate red tape.
  2. Re-open businesses and schools.

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