A Boston man is filing a lawsuit seeking to bankrupt a white supremacist group he says assaulted him

A Boston man is filing a lawsuit seeking to bankrupt a white supremacist group he says assaulted him

BOSTON (AP) — Members of a white nationalist hate group punched, kicked and hit him with metal shields during a march through Boston last year, a black teacher and musician said, sued the organization Tuesday.

Charles Morell III, of Boston, was in the Boston Public Library area to play his saxophone on July 2, 2022, when he was surrounded by members of the National Front and assaulted in a “coordinated, brutal and racially motivated attack,” according to the lawsuit filed in federal court in Boston.

The suit says Morel was taken by ambulance to the hospital to be treated for lacerations, some of which required stitches.

“As a result of this beating, Mr. Morrell sustained physical injuries to his face, head, and hand, all of which required medical attention. Mr. Morrell continues to suffer significant psychological distress to this day as a result of the incident,” the suit says. Among other damages, those physical and emotional injuries adversely affected Mr. Morrell’s ability to earn a living as a musician. “

He “experiences with severe anxiety, mental anguish, invasive thoughts, and emotional distress, including, but not limited to, constant anxiety over his physical well-being and loss of sleep,” and “routinely suffers from nightmares and flashbacks,” according to Suit.

The defendants are the Patriot Front, its founder Thomas Russo and several John Doe. Emails seeking comment have been sent to attorneys who have represented the Patriot Front in the past or are representing the group in a pending lawsuit.

The lawsuit is about holding Patriot Front accountable, helping him with his recovery process and preventing anything similar from happening to children of color, like those he teaches, Morell, who has a background in teaching special education, said in a phone interview with The Associated Press Monday.

“Because I’m a teacher, and because I’m special education, I’m suing that even if someone had a safer sidewalk to walk on, the work I’m doing would be very much worth it,” Morrell said.

The rally in Boston of about 100 members of the Texas-based Patriot Front was one of the so-called flash demonstrations it has staged across the country. In addition to the shields, the group carried a banner that read “Take Back America” ​​as they marched along the Freedom Trail and past some of the city’s most famous landmarks.

They pretty much wore both khaki pants, dark shirts, hats, sunglasses, and face coverings.

Morrell said he had not heard of the group prior to the encounter, but believes he was targeted because of the tone of their voices and the insults they used when he confronted them.

According to the lawsuit, the Patriot Front is training its personnel to commit acts of violence.

“What happened to Mr. Morrell was no accident,” the suit says. “For years, the Patriot Front… publicly and privately advocated the use of violence against those who disagreed with its express goal of creating an all-white community in the United States.” “

The goal of the lawsuit is not just justice and accountability, but bankruptcy for the Patriot Front, said Lisha Nyendo, chief legal officer at Human Rights First, which is supporting Morell in the lawsuit.

“Our goal is to eliminate this extremist group and highlight the dangers of their extremist ideology,” she said.

It’s a similar tactic being used against the many white supremacist groups involved in the deadly Unite the Right rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, in 2017, which led to $26 million judgment.

“It bankrupted and marginalized the major hate groups that were involved in Charlottesville and really pulled back the curtain, through a process of discovery, on how these groups operate,” said Amy Spetalnick, senior adviser on extremism at Human Rights First.

No one has been charged in connection with the attack on Morrell, 36, and the investigation remains open, according to a spokesperson for the Suffolk District Attorney’s office.

The lawsuit, which alleges, among other things, civil rights violations, assault, battery, and willful infliction of emotional distress, seeks a jury trial and unspecified damages.

Founded yet March “Unite the Right”The Patriot Front’s manifesto calls for the formation of a white ethnicity in the United States, according to the Southern Poverty Law Center website.

The SPLC said its members post flyers and posters, place signs on buildings or bridges, and even perform public service work, designed to maximize publicity value.

Also active online is the National Front, one of the most visible white supremacist groups in the country “whose members maintain that their ancestors conquered America and left it to them, and no one else,” according to the Anti-Defamation League.

Five members of the group They were sentenced to several days in prison for conspiracy to riot at a Pride event in Idaho last year. The jury I found them guilty of riot After being accused of planning a riot at a Coeur d’Alene, Idaho, LGBTQ+ Pride event.

A total of 31 members of the National Front, including one identified as its founder, were arrested on June 11, 2022, after someone reported seeing people being loaded into a U-Haul truck like a “little army” in a hotel parking lot. in Coeur d’Alene, police said at the time. Police said they found riot gear, a smoke grenade, shin guards and body armor in the vehicle.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *