Members of extremist ‘patriot’ group have to delete posts, stay away from churches, court docs say




    Four members of the right-wing extremist group AZ Patriots will have to remove some videos and posts from their social media accounts and will be restricted from engaging in certain activities around the churches they were sued by, according to court documents. 

    Several Hispanic churches decided to sue them and another group, Patriot Movement AZ, for disrupting their work of welcoming migrant families. 

    The settlement must still be approved by the judge overseeing the case. 

    The civil lawsuit, filed in June in U.S. District Court, is still ongoing. Besides the four that have agreed to settle, there are at least seven other people.

    The lawsuit stems from AZ Patriots and Patriot Movement AZ members confronting church volunteers as they welcome migrant mothers, fathers and children. In videos posted on social media since December, the right-wing demostrators – sometimes posing as volunteers or members of the news mediayell at church volunteers, accuse them of human trafficking and call the migrant families an invading force. 

    Part of the settlement agreement reached between AZ Patriot members Jennifer Harrison, Jeremy Bronaugh, Michael Pavlock and Eduardo Jaime includes that they cannot say “in any public forum, including but not limited to, social media or media interviews, that any Plaintiff is engaged in any form of human trafficking or sex trafficking or harboring fugitives.” 

    That particular part of the settlement agreement also stipulates that the four will have 30 days once the settlement is finalized “to remove such previously published statements.”

    Additionally, the settlement states they agree to not trespass or block any ingress or egress from any of the buildings owned by the churches, including their parking lots, driveways, walkways or other areas used by the churches. The settlement also prohibits them from entering any of the churches. 

    The settlement further prohibits the four from using a loudspeaker or any similar device outside of any of the churches. 

    The four will also no longer be able to film outside the churches unless they are more than 50 feet away from the boundaries of the properties. They also cannot encourage others to film. 

    The four will jointly have to pay the churches a total of $750.

    Jerod MacDonald-Evoy
    Reporter Jerod MacDonald-Evoy joins the Arizona Mirror from the Arizona Republic, where he spent 4 years covering everything from dark money in politics to Catholic priest sexual abuse scandals. Jerod has also won awards for his documentary films which have covered issues such as religious tolerance and surveillance technology used by police. He brings strong watchdog sensibilities and creative storytelling skills to the Arizona Mirror.

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