Protesters tore down and burned a Black Lives Matter sign and banner at two historic black churches during Saturday evening’s rallies as supporters of President Donald Trump and counterprotesters clashed in Washington, D.C.
Police said Sunday they were investigating what appeared to be potential hate crimes at Asbury United Methodist Church and Metropolitan A.M.E. Church where a BLM banner and sign were torn down, The Associated Press reported.
“We take these offenses seriously and we are currently investigating them as possible hate crimes,” a D.C. spokesperson told WTOP News.
Videos posted on social media showed a crowd of men taking down a BLM sign at Metropolitan A.M.E. Church, founded in 1838, and another group of men burning a BLM banner in the street.
The Rev. Dr. Ianther M. Mills, the senior pastor at Asbury church, compared the incident with “cross burnings.”
“It pained me especially to see our name, Asbury, in flames,” she said in a statement. “For me it was reminiscent of cross burnings. Seeing this act on video made me both indignant and determined to fight the evil that has reared its ugly head… We will move forward, undaunted in our assurance that Black Lives Matter and we are obligated to continue to shout that truth without ceasing.”
Pastor William H. Lamar IV, who leads Metropolitan A.M.E. Church, said he was “speechless” when he was first informed about the vandalism.
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SOURCE: Christian Post, Anugrah Kumar