LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) — A demonstration was held Wednesday night after a woman filmed two men putting up a “No Trespassing” sign after she sat down on a patch of grass outside of St. Paul First Lutheran Church in North Hollywood.

In the video posted to social media, Alex Marshall-Brown can be heard saying, “I’m clearly not bothering anyone, I’m clearly sitting here doing work, so this is in excess of anything that needs to happen.”

The men then confirm that the sign was, in fact, put up because she was sitting there and had been reported by one of the men on the video and another parishioner.

 

The church addressed the incident in a Facebook post, saying that the incident was not handled “in a way representative of the church or the school” and said the volunteers involved in the incident have stepped down from their positions.

“The disrespect demonstrated by the individuals does not represent the attitude of St. Paul’s First,” St. Paul’s school’s acting Principal Santiago Botero said in the statement. “I was out of town at the time of the incident, but I believe it could’ve and should’ve been handled more respectfully.”

While the church has a policy against loitering within a certain radius of the church’s school for the safety of the children in response to incidents of vandalism, Botero said Marshall-Brown was clearly not harming any person or property.

Marshall-Brown said she met with church leaders to discuss the incident on Wednesday.

“They were very contrite and willing to engage in a dialogue and acknowledge the fault of the incident, and they pointed out I was not deserving of that behavior,” she said.

Marshall-Brown said the church said it would introduce sensitivity and racial bias training, but several groups said they planned to hold demonstrations outside of the church during Sunday services.

Comments (32)
  1. Gary Warrington says:

    This is a disgrace. As a Lutheran I am ashamed of this church and it’s members. Jesus Christ is our lord a savior and he welcomes all the children of God not just the white chIldren. I am horrified by the behavior of these racist men and woman. They are sinners in the eye of God and must repeat before judgement day.

  2. Barbara says:

    I am also A Lutheran Christian. My blood was boiling hot when I saw this video. A well spoken women that was showing how a human being should behave with her fellow man. The people posting and filming this women, should seek her forgiveness and pray to be better people. I also will pray that they seek god forgiveness and be more loving as a Christian should to EVERYONE!

  3. Greg Miller says:

    The Church will try to tell you that this isn’t them. Well, nobody represents the core values of a church more than their long-time members that love the church so much that they volunteer their time. Let me know when they disband, and admit the falsity of their pious morality.

  4. Phoebe says:

    That shows that nothing worth learning is being taught in that church. Stay away. Being caught means nothing re change of heart. Good people need to stand up, vote with their feet and leave.

  5. Nick Pantalones says:

    It is unfortunate that individuals use churches, schools, and even the government as validation for their perverted their agenda.

  6. Rich Benevides says:

    Give me a break. Let those with no sin cast the first stone. Reading these comments just about made me vomit. Meanwhile, realize this gal went there with the intention of starting a conflict.
    This certainly wasn’t random.

    1. Dee says:

      How did you draw that conclusion? Why couldn’t she have been there reading her Bible or praying?

    2. Don’t throw stones – Rich Stonethrower Benevides. But seriously go back to the dark ages where racism was ok, I’ve smoked weed at churches and no one bothered me because my ass is white and ‘allowed’ to be there. She was working on her laptop and got harassed because insecure boomers like you can’t handle blacks being out in public. The All lives matter unprompted is what gave it away.

      Go toss yourself off the highest cliff you can find.

    3. Greyson says:

      Explain to me why a person would sit down on private property with a laptop to do work when there is a huge park literally across the street from the church (you can easily Google it at 5244 Tujunga Ave, North Hollywood, CA 91601) with hundreds of trees for shade. That is the equivalent of going to NY’s Central Park and sitting on the stairs of the Plaza Hotel to do work. It doesn’t make sense. Apparently, self entitlement really is a one way street without regards for anyone or anything.

      1. Jess says:

        Based on your name, I’m guessing your a man. I’m the same age as the woman that was harassed. There have been times in my life where I felt unsafe in certain public parks when alone. When you live in an apartment in “shelter in place” conditions, we women still need to get some light and air even IF we are socially distancing I have been taught my whole life that church is a safe place. I would never in my life hesitate to sit in the shade of a church’s trees if I had to spend time alone outside. Ever. I wouldn’t think twice about it. But apparently my parents were able to teach me that my personal safety matters & that church is a safe place because I am white. That women had ZERO idea she wasn’t welcome there. There was no gate. There was not fence. There were no signs saying “no public” or “no trespassing”. YOU are being a racist apologist right now & it’s pathetic.

      2. actuary1 says:

        Okay, you asked the question so here is an answer. Last time I looked CA is in the middle of a deadly pandemic where due to those self-righteous, and out of touch Trump supporters in Orange County, many people get together and don’t wear masks (they are real pro-life aren’t they? ). A park is a place where many people can congregate and walk past you without a mask (because they feel they have a God given right to infect and possibly kill other innocent Americans). So, sitting under a tree near an empty Church, may be the best place to get some peace and quiet safely without disturbing the wing nuts who could care less about the lives of others, because they want to protect their freedom to act irresponsibly. Unfortunately, at this church, the admonition to love your neighbor as yourself (one of God’s greatest commandments according to Jesus) is just a suggestion. However, those who don’t want to think of others and show God’s love should read Matthew 25 because the end of that chapter has some serious implications for them.

      3. Kenneth David Murray says:

        I live in that neighborhood. That park is well known as a dangerous place, with a serious drug problem. When the library is open, SEVERAL police officers are stationed at the park. Needless to say, the library is closed due to COVID, so no cops, and the drugs are rampant. Sit down at your own risk of sitting on a needle.

        I would have thought that a church would be welcoming to a person with any sort of need. They need to go a LOT further, to counter what this has exposed among their flock.

    4. Jess says:

      The woman wasn’t there to start a conflict. She was sitting in the shade of a tree in a church yard reading and making notes in her notebook because she mistakenly thought the church was a safe place to sit quietly and study. She was sitting totally out of the way bothering no one because church is supposed to be a safe place. The church’s school was across a street. She was not even anywhere near the church entrance. If ANY white woman in the same clothes, of the same age was sitting quietly reading in the shade of a church’s tree this wouldn’t have happened.

  7. D Bischoff says:

    The Church is the House of The Lord!! No sensitivity training required. Teach God’s unconditional love for mankind. The attitude of the church members reflect those of the Pastor, the District President and President Matt Harrison, of the Missouri Synod Lutheran Church. I know because I am a Black Missouri Synod member.

  8. Pepe Pechugas says:

    If the “volunteers” thought that it was appropriate to harass this woman just for sitting there, I’d expect that this is the kind of church where people who think it’s appropriate to harass a woman for being black would be welcome.

  9. AMG Guy says:

    Evangelicals are a special breed. This exemplifies exactly who they are and what they stand for. It was about 95 degrees in North Hollywood, and someone was quietly sitting under the shade of a tree, with an iPhone and Computer – Clearly not the type Evangelicals welcome.

    1 Peter 4:9
    “Show hospitality to one another without grumbling.”

    Hebrews 13:2
    “Do not neglect to show hospitality to strangers, for thereby some have entertained angels unawares.”

    I wasn’t able to find the passage that says: “Reject God’s Children because of the color of their skin.”

  10. John says:

    I attended this school and this does not surprise me at all—they taught hate especially towards gays, blacks, and Jews. It is not just the church, the school at St. Paul’s encouraged bullying of minorities, while the teachers and principals turned a blind eye. This church and school embody the exact opposite of Christ’s principles.

  11. Trammer says:

    Church members are blatantly racist pigs. Close this school down!!!

  12. Pa Lor says:

    Saying “All Lives Matter” while mistreating a Black person only goes to prove that not all lives matter to them.

  13. Kerri Russ says:

    I was born and raised Lutheran. This is typical of the church I attended as a child through young adult.

  14. Bob Walker says:

    Wisconsin Synod. Typical. They are NOT a welcoming group. The ELCA welcomes all, has a woman bishop who leads the church and we have a bisexual pastor who attends BLM rallies. Because, we stand for Christ’s love, not human prejudices.

  15. Erin says:

    As a proud Lutheran, this makes me sick.

    The fact that they felt the need to even bring up the BLM movement at all just because she is a black woman is truly indicative of the racist and bigoted views of the volunteers at this church. They could have respectfully asked her to leave at any time and chose, instead, to be terrible examples of Christians. I hope those volunteers are very proud of themselves for bringing national shame to their congregation and school. They are the reason that people don’t like Christians, and I hope they are becoming aware of how their hatred and unprovoked bigotry reflects on the other people in their church home.

    Also, I hope that they realize that, if they’re ELCA, their own church disagrees with their ‘all lives matter’ statement. I hope their local Synod gets involved and lets this ‘church’ know that their behavior isn’t supported.punk

    I cannot believe that any church employees think that it’s okay to talk to other people like this and I wonder if, in addition to ‘stepping down’ these volunteers were at all involved in any sort of apology.

    I sincerely doubt that Racial bias training will have any effect on people who choose to be racist and not believe in totally apparent white privilege. If you can’t see it by now, you don’t want to. These people are happy to be racist and to share their hideous worldview with anyone who will listen. And, from what other comments on here are saying, they are not unique to this particular hate group masquerading as a faith community.

    Disgusting.

  16. chiniquy says:

    False image of Jesus Christ is the root cause of racism in our world today.

    Racism is mainly visible in countries with a large population of Caucasian Christians.

    They are more racist than they are religious.

    See the article below:

    https://chiniquy.wordpress.com/2015/07/10/false-image-of-jesus/

  17. Chaz says:

    I love how they disconnected their phones

  18. Peggy Cleasby says:

    must be trump people

  19. LA NUKKA says:

    They aint too Christian at this church.

  20. Phoebe says:

    I still want to cry when I see the new comments. I wish we could find a way to let that woman know that ppl of various cultural/religious backgrounds, and even from the East! are wishing her well, and when I’m free to travel to visit my relatives in LA, I’d like nothing better than to hang out underneath a tree with her, and all the good people here, in peace—

  21. Florence Loss says:

    Do these people realise that Jesus Christ was not white? They would probably harass him if he sat under their precious tree. What horrible examples of Christianity.

  22. John DeMicco says:

    They have shut down their facebook page and yelp isn’t allowing any comments. How dare these people call themselves Christians. I do not believe for a second that those “volunteers” that are “no longer affiliated with the church will be taken back in the ranks after the news has died down. Nothing will change.There may be good people in the congregation but there is obviously enough evil to go around, And some of the comments of others who say they were justified or that she just wanted to cause trouble show how far this country has descended. I hope God forgives them because it is going to take me a while.

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