WASHINGTON — The video above is from June 1, 2020.
The search continues for the person or people involved in the fire at St. John's Episcopal Church in D.C. during George Floyd protests in May. The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) released additional pictures Wednesday of a person of interest who was in the area the incident happened.
Investigators from D.C. Police, D.C. Fire Department and ATF are looking to identify the man caught on surveillance wearing a yellow hoodie and multi-colored jacket with one blue sleeve and a red sleeve, authorities said.
The incident happened on May 31, 2020, around 10:30 p.m. D.C. fire officials said that there was a fire in the basement at the church.
The rector from St. John’s Church told WUSA9 in June that the fire was in the nursery and did not spread, but that the nursery was a burned-out shell. The church rector also said that he is most concerned that his church is a beacon for anti-racism and good in the world.
Some protesters occupied the area of the church holding police brutality demonstrations in the city in wake of George Floyd's death while in Minneapolis police custody. Floyd, a 46-year-old man, was pinned down by his neck by Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin, who kept his knee on Floyd's neck for 8 minutes and 46 seconds. The incident was captured on video. Floyd, who is repeatedly heard in the video saying he can't breathe and asking for Chauvin to get off his neck, died following the encounter with police.
Chaos erupted earlier at Lafayette Square Park near the White House where protesters started a bonfire. There were reports of a building on fire, tear gas being deployed and agitators launching fireworks as authorities advanced their line, pushing protesters back, according to Twitter.
ATF is offering a reward of up to $25,000 for information leading to the identification, arrest and prosecution of person(s) responsible for the fire at St. John’s.
Anyone with information is asked to contact the ATF tip line 1-888-ATF-Fire / (888) 283-3473 or the MPD Command Information Center at (202) 727-9099. Information can also be sent to ATFTips@atf.gov, through ATF’s website.
Months after this incident, several Black churches in the District were vandalized during a pro-Trump demonstration in November.
The historic Black churches reported having Black Lives Matter banners stolen, ripped and burned during protests. National City church also alleges that Luther Place Lutheran Church has been repeatedly targeted by pro-Trump protesters.
Faith leaders from across the DMV have since gathered to hang a new Black Lives Matter banner and renounce white supremacy.