BLM Accuse Police of Emboldening 'White Supremacists' After Linking Them to Proud Boys Attack

Black Lives Matter have accused Washington's Metropolitan Police Department (MPD) of spreading misinformation that "emboldens white supremacists" after originally linking them to a knife attack on Proud Boys supporters.

Three people, including Proud Boys chairman Enrique Tarrio, sustained non-life threatening injuries during the attack in the 1400 block of New York Avenue, Northwest at around 2:26 a.m. in the early hours of Wednesday.

A video of the attack was shared online, with the victims accusing those attacking them of being BLM protesters. Tarrio also described the assailants as being from BLM, on social media site Parler.

Police said they are searching for three suspects, two men and one woman, in connection to the attack. Officers originally told several local news outlets that the suspects were part of BLM.

The incident occurred as hundreds of people from all sides of the political spectrum gathered on the streets of the capital as the results from the election started to roll in.

Speaking at a press conference on Wednesday afternoon, Chief Peter Newsham pulled back on the earlier information released by police, adding they have not verified any specific affiliation of the suspects or victims nor established any motive.

"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."

He added that if the victims were attacked because of their "political affiliation" then it 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 a "sustained campaign of copaganda."

"We condemn the MPD's intentional spread of disinformation that emboldens white supremacists and undermines our movement in defense of Black lives," BLM DC said.

"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. 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," they added.

"MPD has shown us they will protect white supremacists and criminalize BLM. White supremacist get private metro trains, police caravan and protection from MPD but Black lives get criminalized and persecuted in the media and criminal legal system."

Proud Boys deny they are a white supremacist hate group and instead described themselves as all-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 BLM were behind the attack in an Instagram video posted from a hospital bed.

Writing on Parler, Tarrio added: "Besides a slash I'm ok. Bevelyn has a collapsed lung and is currently recovering. The other two Proud Boys were stabbed in the ear and trap [sic]. They have been released by the hospital."

MPD have been contacted for further comment.

Demonstrators deploy a " Black Lives Matter" banner near the White House during a demonstration against racism and police brutality, in Washington, DC on June 6, 2020. OLIVIER DOULIERY/AFP/Getty