Listen to this article here
“We know these threats are continuing to escalate across the country, and that Boston must be the leading light in how we are acting in a coordinated way and tackling and supporting our community members,” said Mayor Michelle Wu Tuesday. She joined local and state police departments, the FBI and the attorney general’s office to discuss impending actions of known extremist groups.
The Anti-Defamation League, which tracks hate groups nationwide, has labeled Patriot Front as a white supremacist group spreading racism, antisemitism, and other forms of hate online. The ADL states the group is focused on “preserving America’s identity as a European-American one.”
Boston. Of course.
“We’re not surprised. Boston has had a long legacy of racism,” said local Reverend Kevin Peterson. “In fact, the city was founded on racism. Slaves were imported here. And that legacy continues into 2022.”
The group marched in Boston on Saturday with concealed faces and flags, wearing shirts that read “Reclaim America.”
Police say a Black man reported that he was assaulted during the march, after the man said he was trying to record the group on his cellphone. In the police report by Boston Police Department, the man said Patriot Front members with shields began to surround and shove him after he started to record.
When he tried to shove back in order to free himself, he was knocked to the ground, kicked and beaten, the police report said.
The man suffered lacerations to his head, arms and hands, and was treated at a nearby hospital, according to the report. No arrests have been made.
Black community leaders in Boston marked the Fourth of July by denouncing racism and showing support for a man who says he was assaulted by Patriot Front members.
Officials said they plan to question officers’ actions during the march, asking themselves “if this was a Black Lives Matter protest, would the response have been different than this white supremacist group?”
Per ABC News, Wu said the investigation into the latest incident is ongoing and is being spearheaded by the city’s Civil Rights Unit. Because Patriot Front members had their face covered, officials at the Tuesday press conference say it adds a layer of difficulty to cracking the case. However, law enforcement officials say they are still looking for the culprits, even if they came to the city from out of state.
Considering many members of far-right violent militias are either current or former military and police, there is also no telling how many of the marchers are also active law enforcement “investigating” themselves.