In court filings posted to Twitter, the president of the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law revealed that the group was representing the Metropolitan African Methodist Episcopal (AME) church, one of the city’s oldest churches built in 1886.
“We are suing the Proud Boys and their members for the racist attack on Metropolitan AME church in Washington DC. This attack was one of several levied against churches targeted for their support of the Black Lives Matter movement,” wrote the committee’s president, Kristen Clarke.
“The Proud Boys are NOT above the law,” Clarke tweeted, “We want to make clear to the Proud Boys and other extremists who dare to assault our institutions, our humanity and our dignity, that we will stand up and hold them accountable. Attacks on Black churches have no place in society today.”
According to The Hill, the suit, which also names unidentified members of the Proud Boys organization, centers around an incident that occurred in December when numerous individuals purportedly involved with the Proud Boys ripped down a sign bearing the words “Black Lives Matter” from the AME church.
Another historically-Black church, the Asbury United Methodist Church, saw a banner torn down by others apparently affiliated with or supporting the Proud Boys. Both incidents were caught on video and shared widely on social media.
The Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law, or simply the Lawyers’ Committee, is a civil rights organization founded in 1963 at the request of President John F. Kennedy. Its mission is to secure equal justice for all through the rule of law by enlisting the leadership of the private bar.