DOUBLE STANDARD: Proud Boys to pay $1M fine for burning Black Lives Matter banner in 2020 rally but leftist agitator who stabbed a Proud Boy was easily absolved
By Belle Carter // Jul 06, 2023

District of Columbia Superior Court Judge Neal E. Kravitz recently issued a scathing verdict against Proud Boys International, ordering the nationalist organization to pay damages amounting to $1,036,626.78 to the Metropolitan African Methodist Episcopal (AME) Church of D.C.

This was in connection to a rally that took place back in 2020 when the group snatched down a Black Lives Matter (BLM) banner from the church that they later burned. Kravitz deemed this a "highly orchestrated set of events" focusing on the Proud Boys' "guiding principles" which the judge labeled as "white supremacy and violence."

The memorandum stated: "The hateful and overtly racist conduct exhibited by the defendants on December 12, 2020, was repugnant not only to the laws relied on by the church but to every norm of a civilized community. A substantial award of punitive damages is essential to punish the defendants for their actions and to deter them from behaving this way again."

Meanwhile, Shawn Bradley Witzemann, an independent free-range journalist, contradicted the decision and claimed that earlier during the said date, everything was kind of peaceful and there was definitely less "white supremacy." He even posted a photo of the Proud Boys' Tenet's flyer declaring the group's values. Facebook immediately took this down for allegedly promoting hate speech and was banned for 30 days on the platform afterward, Witzemann said.

"Later that evening, confrontations between BlackBloc ANTIFA and Proud Boys escalated substantially. Several stabbings occurred, clouds of pepper spray seasoned the air, and Proud Boys exhibited frustration with DC Metropolitan Police," he recounted and posted videos on Twitter of the said night.



"Under the guise of protecting DC residents, Metro Police provided cover for rogue movements of ANTIFA agitators while they freely attacked otherwise peaceful MAGA demonstrators who were in town for a rally," he added, noting that the mainstream media did not report these facts.

The same night, the Proud Boys took down the BLM banner at the Metropolitan AME Church just six blocks north of the Asbury United Methodist Church. They later burned the Asbury BLM banner within view of Hotel Harrington at the intersection of 11th and E Streets NW.

Just a few minutes later, DC resident Philip Johnson, whom people believe was a leftist agitator, stabbed Proud Boy Jeremy Bertino. The criminal charges were eventually dropped. And now, a "demented" decision from the courts came out saying that burning the flag weighs heavier as a "hate" crime.

Analysts find the resolution of these two events hard to reconcile.

American justice is not for the brave and outspoken

At first, authorities were not even an ounce concerned about who lit the banner. They were just pointing to the activist group for instigating the chaos. So, Enrique Tarrio, then-leader of Proud Boys, saved them some trouble and took responsibility for the burning via an issued statement through the social networking service Parler on December 17.

"I am here to tell you that there was no hate crime committed. The only hate there is in my heart is for communism and an authoritarian government. BLM is a Marxist movement. It isn't about the color of someone's skin. Against the wishes of my attorney, I am here today to admit that I am the person responsible for the burning of the sign. And I am not ashamed of what I did because I didn't do it out of hate... I did it out of love. Love for a country that has given my family SO MUCH. The burning of the banner wasn't about race, religion or political ideology it was about a racist movement that has terrorized the citizens of this country. I will not standby and watch them burn another city," Tarrio stated in the post.

However, he allegedly profusely apologized for his actions to the court, calling these a "grave mistake." "What I did was wrong," he reportedly said during the hearing via videoconference. He was sentenced to more than five months in jail after that and was arrested as he arrived in Washington on January 4, 2021.

Two years later, he was indicted on a conspiracy charge by the Department of Justice (DOJ) for his involvement in organizing the January 6 attack, two days after his arrest, on the U.S. Capitol. On June 6, 2022, DOJ announced that Tarrio and four other members had been indicted on more serious seditious conspiracy charges. (Related: RIGGED: 'Low bar' used to convict Trump-supporting Proud Boys of 'seditious conspiracy' in connection with Jan. 6 riot explained.) has more stories related to uprisings condemning government policies.

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