A video going viral on Twitter shows a group of Proud Boys members vandalizing property at a historic Black church in Washington, D.C.
The far-right group tore down Black Lives Matter banners and signs from a number of historic Black churches in downtown D.C. during pro-Trump protests Saturday night.
In one of the incidents, a Black Lives Matter board was ripped down from the Metropolitan African Methodist Episcopal (AME) Church. The men are punching and stomping on the sign outside of the church as demonstrators chant, “Our streets!”
A series of videos on Twitter shows a group, identified as Proud Boys, marching with a Black Lives Matter banner and then burning it while chanting, “f*ck Antifa.”
The banner was from nearby Asbury United Methodist Church, one of the oldest Black churches in the city, standing since 1836. The church’s pastor released a statement on the matter, noting that the events were “reminiscent of cross burnings.”
According to the Washington Post, D.C. police on Sunday morning declined to say if arrests were made in connection with the vandalism but that the cases are being investigated as potential hate crimes.
“We take these offenses seriously and we are currently investigating them as possible hate crimes,” police spokeswoman Alaina Gertz said to the Post.
The protesters were downtown to demonstrate a refusal to “accept the results of the presidential election, two days before the electoral college will make President Trump’s loss official.”
Others chastised journalists for a lack of specificity in their descriptions of the incidents. “Every journalist covering the DC Proud Boy gathering and neglecting to mention they ripped and burned a BLM banner that was on a *black church* — an AME church — isn’t doing their job particularly well given the specific history of arson, vandalism, bombing, etc. of those sites,” @ztsamudzi tweeted.
Others took aim at the Trump acolytes who frame their support for the outgoing president around religion. “It was never about religious liberty,” Qasim Rashid tweeted.
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