The attack comes as the results are still awaited from Tuesday’s contentious presidential election, which saw non-scalable fencing erected around the White House for extra security as local authorities braced themselves for violence.
Three men and a woman received non-life-threatening injuries and were sent to hospital after an altercation near the intersection of 14th Street and New York Avenue Northwest, two blocks from the White House, early Wednesday morning, the DC Police Department has reported.
Police have asked residents to look out for three African American suspects – two male and one female, with the last believed to be armed with a knife.
Stabbing: 1400 b/o New York Avenue, NW. LOF: Lookout is for Suspects (1 & 2) B/Ms wearing all black clothing and Suspect (3) B/F wearing black sweatpants w/ white stripe, orange leggings and a dark gray coat armed with a knife
— DC Police Department (@DCPoliceDept) November 4, 2020
Police sources told NBC News that the attack took place at about 3:20am local time. According to unconfirmed reports, the female victim is Bevelyn Beatty, a black conservative activist and Trump supporter.
NBC News Washington desk correspondent Tom Lynch says police told him that the victims were associated with the Proud Boys, a far-right, anti-immigration group of self-described “pro-Western chauvinists” created in 2016 which supports Trump. The President explicitly condemned the group last month.
NEW: DC Police tell me four people associated with the proud boys group were stabbed and slashed during an altercation about an hour ago in the 700 block of 14th Street Northwest. All are being treated for non-life threatening injuries. @nbcwashington
— Tom Lynch (@TomLynch_) November 4, 2020
The victims reportedly told police that their attackers were associated with Black Lives Matter, a liberal-left group which recently gained national and global media attention and notoriety after organising protests, some of them violent, in the wake of the police killing of an unarmed black Minneapolis man in May 2020.
Wednesday morning’s stabbing incident took place less than 300 metres from the White House Grounds, and less than 200 metres from the nearby Lafayette Square, where police and BLM activists clashed this summer just past.
Beatty later posted a video of herself from hospital on social media, saying she had been attacked and stabbed by “young kids who were looking for trouble”, and confirming that she had been stabbed in the back three times.
Unauthenticated footage of the altercation has been posted to social media.
The stabbing incident comes in the wake of protests in Washington DC Tuesday night amid the counting of ballots from Tuesday’s presidential and congressional elections. Three people were arrested during the demonstrations, which authorities said remained ‘largely peaceful’, with estimates that several thousand protesters had gathered outside the White House and other areas of the capital.