WASHINGTON: Police within the nation’s capital are asking for public help in figuring out individuals chargeable for burning Black Lives Matter banners and damaging native church buildings throughout weekend clashes between native activists and supporters of President Donald Trump.
The Metropolitan Police Department launched a number of images of the alleged perpetrators Monday and are providing as much as $1,000 reward for data resulting in an arrest, with the FBI’s Washington area workplace providing an addition $2,000 reward.
Police Chief Peter Newsham mentioned 4 native church buildings had been broken. In some instances a Black Lives Matter banner was torn down and set ablaze. The images of the perpetrators all present totally different bearded white males, all sporting the distinctive black and yellow of the Proud Boys, a neo-fascist group identified to incite avenue violence.
A big contingent of Proud Boys from totally different states flooded into the capital over the weekend to take part in rallies supporting outgoing President Donald Trump’s unproven claims that he misplaced the presidential election attributable to widespread voter fraud.
After darkish, giant teams of Proud Boys roamed the downtown streets and confronted a bunch of native activists, together with antifa, who sought to guard the house round Black Lives Matter Plaza. Four individuals had been stabbed within the clashes and 33 individuals had been arrested, with fees starting from easy assault and assault on a police officer to disorderly conduct.
Newsham mentioned the church vandalism incidents had been being investigated as hate crimes.
Whenever anybody assaults our locations of worship, I feel it’s unsettling for all of us, he mentioned.
Mayor Muriel Bowser referred to as the incident disgusting and vile and blamed the violence on individuals who got here to our metropolis intent on violence in opposition to others.
The native Black Lives Matter affiliate has accused the MPD of permitting the Proud Boys to run rampant downtown.
Nee Nee Taylor, a core organizer with Black Lives Matter DC, charged the MPD with defending white supremacists and mentioned dozens of native activists had been arrested only for being Black and attempting to defend themselves.
Newsham denied these fees, saying his officers had been attempting to maintain the peace in a chaotic ambiance with mutual combatants on the scene.
We had been simply attempting to remain between the teams, he mentioned. It’s unlucky if anyone appears like anyone was being handled in a different way.
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