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This article compares and contrasts the manner in which former Attorneys General Ramsey Clark and William Barr dealt with racially-motivated civil unrest. Clark faced this challenge multiple times during the tumultuous late 1960s. Barr, on the other hand, dealt with such unrest in 1992 and again in 2020 following the police-killing of George Floyd. The respective strategies taken by these two men reveal much about their personal values and how those may have, rightly or wrongly, shaped their perspectives on the attorney general’s role. More importantly, Clark’s and Barr’s conflicting approaches in carrying out their responsibilities in addressing social discord provide a lens through which to reflect upon the critical need for independence in the nation’s chief prosecutor.