LOS ANGELES (CBSLA.com) — A coalition of South Los Angeles religious and civil rights leaders gathered Monday to publicly denounce alleged threats made to a pastor by a group claiming to be affiliated with “Black Lives Matter.”
Reverend Kelvin Sauls of Holman United Methodist Church in South L.A. along with the National Action Network and other groups are demanding an apology from Black Lives Matter after the group disrupted an appearance by Mayor Eric Garcetti last week and planned to protest a visit by the mayor to Sunday services.READ MORE: Mayor Eric Garcetti Urges Property Owners To Sign Up For City's New Program
“Black Lives Matter acted like idiots,” said Najee Ali spokesman for the National Action Network.
Rev. Sauls said he invited the mayor to speak in front of the congregation during Sunday’s services. But he had to cancel the event after someone leaked the news on social media.
The reverend said he didn’t want to give Black Lives Matter another chance to disrupt the community meeting with Garcetti.
The coalition gathered at Mount Moriah Baptist church hours following Garcetti’s aborted attempt to return to Holman, where Black Lives Matter protesters and other activists had previously interrupted Garcetti at a community meeting and mobbed him as he left.
Ali said a member of Black Lives Matter threatened Sauls with violence for trying to regain control of the meeting.
“I heard with my own ears a Black Lives Matter activist threaten to beat up Pastor Sauls if he did not stop trying to tell them to sit down,” Ali said.READ MORE: Restaurants Hopeful Orange County Will Soon Move To Red Tier, Allowing Indoor Dining To Resume
Melina Abdullah, an activist with Black Lives Matter, says she was unaware of any threat against Sauls.
Saying the group’s actions were an offense to the pastor, church and congregation, Sauls said protesters should have been more respectful.
“Once you come into somebody’s else’s house, it is very, very important that you display respect to that house,” he said. “We believe that mutual respect has been violated.”
Members of Black Lives Matter said they were upset that Garcetti did not notify them of the town hall meeting, despite having earlier promised to meet with the group over their concerns.
Despite the call for an apology, Sauls indicated he was willing to forgive the Black Lives Matter activists and join with them and other groups to solve problems within the community.
Garcetti had hoped to improve his fraught relationship with the black communities of South Los Angeles at the forum, the Associated Press reported.MORE NEWS: Former California State Senator John Moorlach Infected With COVID-19
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