Court record: AZ Patriots founders agree to stop harassing church members assisting migrants
Four members of an extremist right-wing 'patriots' group have agreed to delete social media posts and refrain from harassing Phoenix-area church members assisting migrant families seeking asylum in order to settle their part of a federal lawsuit, court documents show.
The individuals are members of the AZ Patriots and among 12 defendants named in the suit, which was filed in U.S. District Court in Phoenix in June. AZ Patriots, along with Patriot Movement AZ, also are named as defendants in the suit, which was filed by the Southern Poverty Law Center on behalf of several church groups and individuals.
The lawsuit accuses Patriot Movement AZ and an off-shoot group, AZ Patriots, of threatening, harassing and intimidating the churches, along with their pastors and their members, who were assisting undocumented migrants seeking asylum. It also accuses the groups of false accusations of human trafficking.
The suit alleged the two groups interfered with the humanitarian work of local churches that have been providing food, shelter and other assistance to migrant families released by federal immigration authorities. The lawsuit alleges that the groups' conduct amounts to a "conspiracy to violate" the civil rights of the churches, is racially motivated against Latinos, and amounts to defamation and trespass, he said.
The suit seeks an injunction against the defendants and monetary damages.
A proposed consent decree filed with the court Friday lists the four defendants agreeing to a settlement as Jeremy Bronaugh of Goodyear, Jennifer Harrison of Peoria, Eduardo Jaime of Phoenix, and Michael Pavlock of Peoria. In addition, AZ Patriots, which was founded by the four defendants, is listed as also agreeing to the decree.
According to the document, the four will be enjoined from in any way trespassing or obstructing people on any of the plaintiffs' properties or locations used by the plaintiffs, as well as physically touching or harassing anyone entering or leaving their facilities.
The decree also prevents the individuals from using loudspeakers or other amplified devices, vandalizing or taking videos or photos of people within 50 feet of any property.
In addition, the individuals agreed to identify any social media posts or publications where they accused the plaintiffs of engaging in any form of human trafficking.
The four defendants also agreed to pay $750 in damages.
The decree still must be approved by a judge. It does not settle the suit with the other defendants.
Security removes members of the Patriot Movement AZ from an Elizabeth Warren rally in Tempe on Aug. 1, 2019. The Republic | azcentral.com