Respect Equality

Historic DC church raises new Black Lives Matter sign after possible hate crime

Members of the Proud Boys and Antifa clash during a protest on December 12, 2020 in Washington, DC

Story at a glance

  • Members of the Proud Boys, designated a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center, attended a pro-Trump rally in Washington, D.C., on Dec. 12.
  • Several demonstrators were involved in violence that injured at least nine people, including two police officers.
  • Videos show groups of people tearing down Black Lives Matter signs and setting them on fire.

On Thursday morning, Bishop LaTrelle Easterling and other ministry leaders will raise a Black Lives Matter sign once again in front of Asbury United Methodist Church in Washington, D.C., after the historic church was attacked in a potential hate crime. 

“We call upon all to join us in prayer for our community, church, and the people who are responsible for this hateful behavior. We believe this is a wakeup call for all to be more vigilant and committed to anti-racism and building a beloved community, and we invite you to join us.  Our congregation will continue to stand steadfast—’we will not be moved.'” said Rev. Ianther Mills in a statement on Facebook. 


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Following a pro-Trump rally on Saturday that brought the Proud Boys to D.C., several groups of suspects were caught on video tearing down Black Lives Matter signs in front of historic churches and even setting one on fire. Asbury Methodist, the oldest African American church to remain on its original site, was one of two Black churches targeted, reported local news outlets. 

“Ours is a city of love, inclusion, and diversity, and—like millions of Americans across the nation—we know that the people who seek to come here to profess hate and sow division are wrong. As a community, we denounce all forms of hate and we denounce the rhetoric that we heard,” said D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser in a statement. 


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City officials have been criticized for their handling of the Proud Boys rally over the weekend, as videos emerged on social media of demonstrators setting fire to a Black Lives Matter banner and tearing down another from in front of a church. 

At least nine people were injured during the unrest, according to local news outlets, which reported four stabbing victims with critical injuries, as well as two other demonstrators and two D.C. police officers. Police are investigating at least two instances of property destruction and seeking the identity of several photographed suspects. 


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