Man arrested for stabbing at DC election protest

Dec 14, 2020 Travel News

Man arrested for stabbing at DC election protest

Authorities in Washington, DC said on Sunday they had arrested a man in connection with the stabbing of four people on Saturday night as supporters and opponents of President Trump clashed with White House blocks.

The four men were stabbed outside a bar on 11th and F Streets Northwest around 9 p.m. Saturday, the Metropolitan Police Department said in a statement. Washington resident Phillip Johnson, 29, has been arrested and charged with assault with a dangerous weapon, a police spokeswoman said. A police report said he used a knife.

The confrontation was one of many angry encounters in Washington and state capitals across the country on Saturday as supporters of Mr. Trump angered by a Supreme Court ruling that further dashed the president’s hopes. to overturn the results of the November elections, faced with counter-defenders. .

In some places these clashes escalated into violence, including in Olympia, Washington, where police rioted and one person was shot dead.

The police stabbing incident report in Washington said officers working on the protests responded to reports of a scuffle outside Harry’s Bar on F Street Northwest, where they found four people injured by stabbing. The Washington Post reported that the bar was being used on Saturday as a meeting point for the Proud Boys, a right-wing group known to have incited violence during the protests.

The confrontation came after dozens of Mr. Trump’s supporters, many of whom appeared to be members of the Proud Boys, gathered on the street outside Harry’s Bar. Some of Trump’s supporters shouted and pointed at a black man in dark clothes who was alone and against a wall, according to a reporter who witnessed the confrontation while covering the protests for The New York Times.

At least three of Trump’s supporters offered to let the man go and pleaded with the others to let him go in peace. After about a minute, as the man hesitated, other protesters moved closer and started hitting and kicking him, according to video footage of the confrontation shared by the New York Post.

At that point, the man pulled out a knife and started hitting him as other protesters piled on top of him. The man freed himself twice, but was then grabbed and beaten again. The police intervened after the man was face down on the ground. Several protesters shouted that the man had a knife and had stabbed someone. The man’s face was swollen and bloody when the police picked him up.

The victims were conscious and breathing when they were taken to hospital, a spokeswoman for the police department said on Sunday. Douglas Buchanan, spokesperson for the DC Fire and Emergency Medical Services Department, said on Sunday their injuries were not life threatening.

Police identified the men who had been stabbed as Franklin Todd Gregory of McMinnville, Tennessee. Corey Owen Nielsen of Robbinsdale, Minn .; Jeremy Bertino of Locust, North Carolina; and Gregory Lyons, whose hometown has not been liberated. Police said Mr Gregory identified Mr Johnson as the man who stabbed him.

Mr Johnson could not be reached on Sunday. It was not immediately clear if he was still in detention or if he had a lawyer.

Minutes before the stabbing, supporters of Mr. Trump tore up a Black Lives Matter banner and burned it in the street, according to videos posted on social media. The flag was removed from the exterior of Asbury United Methodist Church, one of Washington’s oldest black churches, located on the corner of 11th and K streets in the northwest since 1836.

The senior pastor of the church, the Reverend Dr Ianther M. Mills, said in a press release that the scene reminded him of a burning cross.

“We are a resilient people who trusted God through slavery and the Underground Railroad, Jim Crow and the civil rights movement,” she said, “and now we are faced with a apparent rise of white supremacy.

Another video showed a sign with the slogan Black Lives Matter torn from the African Metropolitan Methodist Episcopal Church near the corner of 15th and M streets to the northwest. A spokeswoman for the police department said authorities were aware of the incidents and were investigating them as possible hate crimes.

“DC’s faith-based organizations are at the very heart of our community, giving us hope in the dark,” Washington Mayor Muriel Bowser said in a Facebook statement. “They embody our DC values ​​of love and inclusiveness. An attack on them is an attack on all of us.

The police department spokeswoman said eight police officers were injured during Sunday’s protests. Two of those officers sustained serious but non-fatal injuries and were also taken to hospitals, said Buchanan, spokesman for emergency and fire medical services.

A total of 33 people were arrested in Washington from Saturday afternoon to Sunday morning in connection with the protests, primarily for various types of assaults, including assaults on police officers, according to a departmental arrest database. from police.

In videos of a clash in Olympia, Washington, which were posted to social media, a single shot Counter-protesters can be heard on Saturday advancing on members of a pro-Trump group, including one person on a sidewalk waving a large Trump flag. After the shot, one of the cross-testers can be seen falling to the ground as others call for help. In other video, a man with a gun can be seen running off the stage and putting on a red hat.

Forest Michael Machala, 25, of Shoreline, Wash., Was arrested on charges of first-degree assault, Chris Loftis, a Washington State Patrol spokesman, said Sunday.

The gunfire in Olympia came after Mr. Trump’s supporters and counter-protesters gathered near the State Capitol on Saturday afternoon and clashed before the shooting.

Olympia police say there were four arrests and four officers were injured, CBS affiliate says KIRO.

Victor J. Blue, Mike Baker and Nicholas Bogel-Burroughs contribution to reports.