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Black Lives Matter DC Criticizes Police After BLM Is Blamed for Stabbing of Proud Boys Leader and Black Pro-Trump Activist

The Washington Metro Police issued a clarification after a police told reporters this week that Proud Boys stabbing victims said their assailants were Black Lives Matter supporters.

The stabbings occurred on New York Avenue in the nation’s capital around 2:26 a.m. on Wednesday, Nov. 4. Proud Boys chairman Enrique Tarrio told far-right outlet The Gateway Pundit that he was slashed and three other people were stabbed but none of the injuries were life-threatening. One of the other victims was identified as Bevelyn Beatty, a Black woman who vandalized a Black Lives Matter mural located outside of Trump Tower in New York City.

Video of the attack was posted online, and The Gateway Pundit claims Tarrio blamed members of Black Lives Matter for the assault. Police Lt. Ralph Neal briefed media organizations on the morning of Nov. 4 and said at least one of the stabbing victims claimed to be affiliated with the Proud Boys and multiple victims said their assailants were Black Lives Matter supporters. After media organizations picked up the story, Black Lives Matter Dc tweeted a condemnation of MPD and a local news station and demanded a retraction.

A formal statement followed.

“This morning MPD released statements implicating us in an act of violence that furthers their attempts to discredit our political power, in a sustained campaign of copaganda,” BLM DC wrote in a statement published on Wednesday. “The police are opportunists stoking violence against BLM DC members and suppressing our right to protest, in clear retaliation for our efforts to hold their racist, ineffective institution accountable.”

The group demanded an investigation of the violence and a retraction.

“We demand an immediate and full retraction of the outright lie spread by the MPD that BLM had anything to do with what did, or did not happen,” the statement continued. “MPD’s statement serves no other purpose than to stoke fear and incite violence on our communities. It is alarming that MPD would release this statement without any actual knowledge that BLM had something to do with did or did not happen.”

(Neither The Movement for Black Lives umbrella group nor Black Lives Matter DC was identified as involved in the incident during Neal’s briefing. Black Lives Matter is a movement and an ideology with many supporters who are unaffiliated with any formal BLM-designated group.)

After the controversy flared, Metro Police Chief Peter Newsham said at a news conference later on Wednesday that the earlier police information “was preliminary in nature” and any affiliations of the suspects remain unknown.

“At 2:30 in the morning when officers are trying to gather information on the scene, that information is preliminary in nature and oftentimes, unfortunately, it changes,” Newsham said. “So, all I can say is that after more extensive investigation with the victims of the crime, we don’t know who they were affiliated with.”

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