Four right wing activists that identify as members of the “Proud Boys” group were stabbed near the White House in the early hours of Wednesday morning, during the protests that were taking place to coincide with the election.
In a video posted online, one of the victims can be heard shouting, “They stabbed me!” before running to police and asking for medical help.
In a tweet confirming the incident, DC police said they were looking for three suspects, two men wearing black clothing and one woman wearing what they described as “black sweatpants with white stripe, orange leggings and a dark gray coat.”
Much of the incident was live streamed, and the footage remains online.
One of the victims was identified as Enrique Tarrio, the national chairman of the Proud Boys. Tarrio was caught on camera at the infamous 2017 white supremacist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, wearing body armor and a badge with the insignia of the ‘Fraternal Order of Alt-Knights’, a paramilitary wing of the Proud Boys.
Tarrio immediately tried to place the blame on Black Lives Matter (BLM) activists for the attack, but police have since walked back the allegations saying that so far there is “no proof” that members of BLM or participants in the protest were responsible for the attack.
Of course, considering the intense atmosphere between the two groups, many people automatically assumed that it happened in a scuffle between protesters and anti-protesters. This may actually be the case but it is too soon to speculate. In fact, at first, the police did speculate that the altercation was political in nature, and that the assailants were members of BLM.
However, in an update on Wednesday, DC police said, “The incident remains under investigation and we cannot verify any specific affiliation of the suspects.”
Representatives of Black Lives Matter have called the accusations a lie.
Tarrio said that he was slashed in the stomach, while “multiple other members” were injured, including a man stabbed in the neck and a woman with them stabbed in the back. He claims that the group was leaving a DC bar just a few blocks from the White House after watching the election when they were attacked by a group of unknown assailants. This could have simply been an attempted robbery, but considering the high profile of those involved, a targeted attack is more likely.
The woman in the group who was stabbed was Bevelyn Beatty, a Black woman who made headlines after she dumped paint over the Black Lives Matter mural outside Trump Tower.
Aside from this incident, the protests in DC were mostly peaceful and only arrested in 3 arrests, with no major injuries reported, despite an intense standoff between protesters and Trump supporters.
The Proud Boys became a nationally recognized name after the organization was discussed during a presidential debate between Joe Biden and Donald Trump. During the debate, Trump told the Proud Boys to “stand back and stand by” after he was asked to denounce their affiliation with white supremacists.
The investigation is ongoing, and anyone with information on the incident is encouraged to contact the police department at (202) 727-9099.
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