Signs of the Black Lives Matter, which were apparently burned and destroyed in historic black churches in Washington, will be investigated as possible hate crimes during the weekend’s Trump dialogue, authorities said on Sunday.
The Washington Police Department said it was looking for information about the events at the United Methodist Church in Asbury, founded in 1836, and at the Methodist Metropolitan Diocese of Africa, where Frederick Douglass was buried in 1895.
“Over the weekend, the forces of hatred tried to tear us apart by destruction and intimidation” – Mayor Muriel Bowser, Democratic President he said in a statement on Sunday. “We won’t let that happen and we will remain strong and unite with love.”
He added that police and religious officials from his office visited the churches on Sunday.
Asbury’s chief pastor, Reverend Dr. Ianther Mills, said in a statement that pro-Trump supporters had removed the black life sign from the church and “literally burned it down the street”.
“It hurt especially that I saw our name in flames, Asbury,” he said. “It reminded me of the burning of the cross.”
Seeing the incident on video, Mills said, “He was outraged and determined to fight the evil that raised his ugly head. We were so confident that no one would ever damage the church, but it happened. “
It was not clear what video Mills was referring to. A clip widely circulated on social media is said to feature far-right protesters burning black Lives Matter sign at the intersection near the White House.
Another widespread video appeared for protesters to tear a black Lives Matter sign from the nearby Metropolitan African Methodist Church.
On Twitter, Metropolitan made a brief statement on Sunday saying, “Black life yesterday, today, and always.”
Yolanda Pierce, dean of the Divinity School at Howard University in Washington, DC, called the alleged events “Both racial terror and religious violence.”
“The Burning of Black Life Signs torn from churches pose a particular threat to the sanctity of the black church, black life, and freedom, even if the church itself is not historically black,” he said.
Sherrilyn Ifill, president and board of the NAACP Legal Protection Fund, noted that in addition to Douglass, the funeral of her cousin, Washington longtime journalist Gwen Ifill, was also held there after her 2016 death.
The incidents come after several people stabbed Saturday’s incident as Trump-back supporters fought counter-protesters amid protests against the coronavirus restriction and protests by president supporters.
NBC Washington on Sunday reported that their circumstances are critical, though not life-threatening. The 29-year-old man, identified as Phillip Johnson, has been charged with assaulting a dangerous weapon in connection with the fourfold delay, the station reported.
It was not clear what led to the stab.