(Ken Silva, Headline USA) The right-wing nationalist group Patriot Front and its leader, Thomas Rousseau, have been sued again, this time by a man backed by lawyers seeking to “decimate” the organization.
Boston man Charles Murrell III filed the latest lawsuit against Patriot Front, Rousseau and 100 anonymous group members on Tuesday, seeking damages for injuries he allegedly suffered at the hands of the white activists.
According to Murrell, he was heading to the Boston Public Library to play his saxophone on July 2, 2022, when he was surrounded by members of the Patriot Front and assaulted in a “coordinated, brutal, and racially motivated attack.”
“Almost immediately, members of Patriot Front surrounded Mr. Murrell. Using tactics that Patriot Front members had practiced at training sessions preceding their Boston ‘flash’ march, Patriot Front members then began to beat Mr. Murrell with their metal shields, eventually pressing him against a concrete pole and knocking him to the ground,” Murrell’s lawsuit said.
“From there, the beating continued, with Patriot Front’s members using their shields, fists, and feet to further inflict harm on Mr. Murrell.”
“Murrell claims to have suffered physical and emotional injuries from the attack that persist more than a year later,” his lawsuit said.
“Such emotional trauma has negatively affected Mr. Murrell’s ability to earn a living as a composer and musician. He has been unable to complete musical composition contracts and has generally lost the will to write or perform music.”
Licha Nyiendo, the chief legal officer at Human Rights First, which is backing Murrell in the lawsuit, told the Associated Press that the lawsuit isn’t just intended to bring about justice and accountability—but also to bankrupt Patriot Front.
“Our goal is to decimate this extremist group,” she said, “and bring a national spotlight to the dangers of their extremist ideology.”
Patriot Front members, for their part, are seemingly denying the lawsuit’s allegations. Attorney Jason Lee Van Dyke, who has represented Patriot Front members in prior cases, told the AP that “Charles Murrell is not telling the truth.”
“I happen to have seen the raw video footage and it was clear that Charles Murrell was the aggressor and no one with Patriot Front did anything unlawful.” he said. “His assertion that he was beaten is factually incorrect.”
No one has been charged in connection with the attack on Murrell, 36, and the investigation remains open, according to a spokesperson for the Suffolk district attorney’s office.
Tuesday’s lawsuit follows a federal judge finding Rousseau in default of a separate lawsuit, after he apparently failed to respond to it.
The judge’s decision last month means Rousseau can no longer defend himself in the case. Other members of the Patriot Front filed a motion to dismiss the lawsuit, which accuses them of vandalizing a mural honoring black tennis star Arthur Ashe.
Additionally, Rousseau is set to stand trial in Idaho on Sept. 22 for allegedly planning a riot at a pride event last year. Five members were convicted in that case last month and sentenced to several days in jail.
Patriot Front is also pursuing its own lawsuit, which it filed last month, against a left-wing activist who infiltrated and doxxed the group.
Ken Silva is a staff writer at Headline USA. Follow him at twitter.com/jd_cashless.