Black Lives Matter have accused the Washington Metropolitan Police Department (MPD) of spreading misinformation that “encourages white racists” after they were originally linked to a knife attack on Proud Boys supporters.
Three people, including Proud Boys chairman Enrique Tarrio, suffered life-threatening injuries during the attack in the 1400 block of New York Avenue, Northwest at about 2:26 a.m. in the early hours of Wednesday morning.
A video of the attack was made available online, with victims accusing the attackers of being BLM demonstrators. Tarrio also described the attackers on the social media website Parler as BLM attackers.
The police said they were looking for three suspects, two men and one woman, in connection with the attack. The officers had originally told several local news agencies that the suspects belonged to the BLM.
The incident occurred when hundreds of people from all sides of the political spectrum gathered on the streets of the capital as the election results began to roll in.
At a press conference on Wednesday afternoon, Chief Peter Newsham withdrew the information previously released by the police, adding that the police had neither verified the exact affiliation of the suspects or victims nor established a motive.
“At 2:30 in the morning, when officers try to gather information at the crime scene, this information is preliminary in nature and unfortunately it changes frequently,” Newsham said. “So all I can say is that after more detailed investigations with the victims of the crime, we do not know who they were connected to.
He added that if the victims were attacked because of their “political affiliation”, this will be investigated as a hate crime.
In a statement, BLM DC condemned the police, accusing them of trying to discredit their movement as part of an “ongoing campaign of copanda.
“We condemn the deliberate dissemination of disinformation by the MPD that encourages white racists and undermines our movement to defend the lives of blacks,” BLM DC said.
“We demand an immediate and complete withdrawal of the lie spread by the MPD that the BLM had anything to do with what happened or didn’t happen. The MPD’s statement serves no other purpose than to stir up fear and incite violence in our communities. It is alarming that the MPD would publish this statement without actually knowing that the BLM had anything to do with what happened or did not happen,” she added.
“The MPD has shown us that it will protect white racists and criminalize BLM. White racists get private subway trains, a police caravan and protection from the MPD, but black lives are criminalized and prosecuted in the media and the criminal justice system”.
Proud boys deny that they are a hate group of white racists and instead call themselves purely male “Western chauvinists.
Another victim, Bevelyn Beatty, who is black, is a critic of the BLM movement and was previously accused of tearing down a fence that had become a Black Lives Matter Memorial between the White House and Black Lives Matter Plaza.
Beatty also said that BLM was behind the attack in an Instagram video broadcast from a hospital bed.
To Parler, Tarrio added, “Other than a slash, I’m fine. Bevelyn has a collapsed lung and is currently recovering. The other two Proud Boys were stabbed in the ear and trapped [sic]. They were released from the hospital [sic].
MPD was contacted for further comments….