The Metropolitan African Methodist Episcopal (AME) Church in Washington, D.C., filed a lawsuit against the Proud Boys for destroying a Black Lives Matter banner that was hanging on the church.
The complaint was filed against the Proud Boys, the group’s chairman Enrique Tarrio, and eight anonymous members after they allegedly climbed over a fence surrounding the historically black church during a Dec. 12 rally and destroyed a large Black Lives Matter banner that the church was displaying.
Metropolitan AME “brings this suit against the Proud Boys, its leadership and certain of its members for engaging in acts of terror and vandalizing church property in an effort to intimidate the Church and silence its support for racial justice,” the lawsuit reads. “The conduct of the Proud Boys in Washington, D.C. on December 12, 2020 amounted to a new and dangerous chapter in the long and terrible history of white supremacist mob violence targeting Black houses of worship.”
The Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law; Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison LLP; and the Washington Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights & Urban Affairs filed the lawsuit Jan. 4 in the Superior Court of the District of Columbia.
Hundreds of Proud Boys and Trump supporters arrived in Washington, D.C., Dec. 12 for a pro-Trump rally. During the event and later into the night, several fights broke out between the Proud Boys and counter-protesters. (RELATED: EXCLUSIVE VIDEOS: Proud Boys, Counter-Protesters Brawl On The Streets Of DC After MAGA March)
Independent reporter Brendan Gutenschwager posted a video showing a group of Proud Boys tearing down the Black Lives Matter banner from the Metropolitan AME church.
— Brendan Gutenschwager (@BGOnTheScene) December 13, 2020
Another video posted by Daily Caller reporter Shelby Talcott showed a group of Proud Boys and Trump supporters burning a Black Lives Matter banner and cheering. (RELATED: DC Police Investigating Proud Boys Burning Black Lives Matter Banner As A Hate Crime)
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
The lawsuit alleges that the Proud Boys “planned and coordinated their efforts” leading up to the Dec. 12 incident “for several months.”
“In countless messages transmitted over social media platforms and messaging services, [the Proud Boys] and their co-conspirators promised that there would be violence in their wake, and, as the events of December 12 demonstrate, they made good on their promises.”
Kristen Clarke, the President and Executive Director of The Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law, said Monday on Twitter that they are suing for the “racist attack,” which “was one of several levied against churches targeted for their support of the Black Lives Matter movement.”
“We want to make clear to the Proud Boys and other extremists who dare to assault our institutions, our humanity and our dignity, that we will stand up and hold them accountable,” Clarke said. “Attacks on Black churches have no place in society today.”