Rev. Dr. Ianther M. Mills responded Sunday after a group of Proud Boys and Trump supporters burned a Black Lives Matter banner stolen from his church.
A pro-Trump protest ended in violence and vandalism Saturday as multiple stab wounds were reported and at least two churches were stripped of Black Lives Matter signs. (RELATED: EXCLUSIVE VIDEOS: Proud Boys, Counter-Protesters Brawl On The Streets Of DC After MAGA March)
The Proud Boys and Trump supporters burn the BLM banner while chanting and cheering in downtown DC: pic.twitter.com/L16azBBhbr
— Shelby Talcott (@ShelbyTalcott) December 13, 2020
Proud Boys tear down another Black Lives Matter board from the Metropolitan African Methodist Episcopal Church #DC #MarchForTrump #DefendDC #ProudBoys pic.twitter.com/ml1TbhV98Q
— Brendan Gutenschwager (@BGOnTheScene) December 13, 2020
The Rev. Dr. Mills issued a statement Sunday likening the Proud Boys’ actions to the cross-burning that was typical of white supremacist groups like the Ku Klux Klan.
The pastor of Asbury United Methodist Church in DC responds to the burning of the church’s Black Lives Matter sign last night by people who appeared to be affiliated with Proud Boys.
“For me it was reminiscent of cross burnings.” pic.twitter.com/eX3aAE7qTJ
— Jack Jenkins (@jackmjenkins) December 13, 2020
“Last night demonstrators who were part of the MAGA gatherings tore down our Black Lives Matter sign and literally burned it in the street. The sign burning was captured on Twitter. It pained me especially to see our name, Asbury, in flames. For me it was reminiscent of cross burnings,” Mills wrote. “Seeing this act on video made me both indignant and determined to fight the evil that has reared its ugly head. We had been so confident that no one would ever vandalize the church, but it has happened.”
April Goggans, an organizer with Black Lives Matter D.C., also released a statement accusing the police department of protecting white supremacists throughout the demonstrations.
“Yesterday, D.C. was invaded by white supremacists who were aided and protected by the Metropolitan Police Department (MPD). We never expect police to protect Black people or anyone critical of police; and the people of D.C. need to be clear MPD physically protected white supremacists, as they threatened lives, damaged historic churches and destroyed and burned property. MPD allowed Proud Boys to physically attack D.C. residents who stood against white supremacy,” Goggans said.