DC church requests additional police presence ahead of this weekend’s pro-Jan. 6 rally

A D.C. church vandalized during a pro-Trump rally late last year is calling on police to amp up security as the city prepares for a weekend rally supporting those who rioted at the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6.

In a letter to D.C. police, Asbury United Methodist Church Reverend Dr. Ianther Mills
expressed concerns about this weekend’s demonstration and what it could mean for the safety of the congregation.

The “Justice for J6 Rally” will take place Saturday. The church’s letter points to an intelligence report from the U.S. Capitol Police warning Jewish centers and liberal churches could be targeted.

The letter stated, “these conditions indicate not only that the Asbury United Methodist Church physical property may be in jeopardy of serious vandalism during the upcoming Justice for J6 Rally, but also that our staff and membership are in jeopardy of harassment and harm.”

Church leaders pointed out the arrest and sentencing of the Proud Boys leader, Enrique Tarrio, has led to the chain of events that church leaders say may lead to a weekend of violence.

Tarrio was sentenced to five months in a D.C. prison for weapons charges and the burning of the church’s BLM flag. But the letter stated “most of the reporting by local and national outlets has misleading headlines implying Tarrio was sentenced for only burning a banner, when in reality the weapons charges produced the primary sentence.”

“This has resulted in the church and its senior pastor receiving harassing emails,” the letter stated.

D.C. police said they have discussed these concerns with Asbury United Methodist and says the department is fully mobilized to ensure the public’s safety this weekend.

More about the Sept. 18 rally

Melissa Howell

Melissa Howell joined WTOP Radio in March 2018 and is excited to cover stories that matter across D.C., as well as in Maryland and Virginia. 

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