The NYPD has often been accused of showing preferential treatment to white citizens and conservative groups, and now their critics have a visual aid to prove that point.
This weekend, videos and pictures of an alt-right group of predominantly white men who call themselves, The Proud Boys went viral, showing a group of them beating up protesters outside a Republican event in New York City. Even though the incident took place on Friday, according to multiple accounts, none of the attackers have been arrested by the NYPD, even though there were several officers on the scene that night watching the brawl take place.
Leaders of a Manhattan political club known as The Metropolitan Republican Club recently invited their members to an event where they could meet Proud Boys founder Gavin McInnes, a man who they refer to in their Facebook post as the “Godfather of the Hipster Movement [who] has taken on and exposed the Deep State Socialists and stood up for Western Values.”
Following McInnes’s speech, a group of approximately 30 Proud Boys, who appeared to have just left the event, were captured on video attacking a couple of protesters near the club while screaming threats and slurs at them.
The NYPD’s refusal to step in is now prompting people to ask, “Who are these men?”
Below is a quick rundown of what we’ve uncovered about the group and their overall agenda.
The organizers stand behind their Proud Boys event
Despite the melee that ensued afterwards, the Metropolitan Republican Club is standing behind their decision to invite the Proud Boys to their event.
“We do invite speakers to the Club with differing political points of view — some we agree with and some which we do not. But we are staunch supporters of the 1st Amendment,” club officials said in a statement Sunday evening.
“We want to foster civil discussion, but never endorse violence. Gavin’s talk on Friday night, while at times was politically incorrect and a bit edgy, was certainly not inciting violence.”
So basically, “Sorry—not sorry.”
Statement from the Metropolitan Republican Club regarding the events surrounding the vandalism of the Club on Friday morning, October 12, 2018. pic.twitter.com/mfzyTEbijS
— Metropolitan Republican Club (@metgopclub) October 14, 2018
The Proud Boys have been classified as a national hate group
The Proud Boys are a male-only group that openly describe themselves as “Western chauvinists,” and insist they are not racist, and merely spreading an “anti-political correctness” and “anti-white guilt” agenda.
But the Southern Poverty Law Center, which is a go-to authority on hate groups has classified them as one, stating, “Proud Boys and leaders regularly spout white nationalist memes and maintain affiliations with known extremists. They are known for anti-Muslim and misogynistic rhetoric. Proud Boys have appeared alongside other hate groups at extremist gatherings like the ‘Unite the Right’ rally in Charlottesville.”
Also, it turns out NYC isn’t the only place where they’ve caused chaos lately. In the last two weeks alone, the Proud Boys have also been involved in political violence in Portland, Oregon, and Providence, Rhode Island.
Here's video of the Proud Boy mob assault from tonight up close pic.twitter.com/frW09dcDHn
— Adam (@leftkist) October 13, 2018
Not one Proud Boy member was arrested Friday night
Following Friday’s event, members of the Proud Boys received a police escort out of the venue as anti-racist demonstrators protested outside. Videos shared with Newsweek along with eyewitness statements suggest that the brawl broke out after a protester allegedly knocked a “Make America Great Again” hat off of one of the far right group member’s head.
In response, that man and one or two of his friends reportedly were then attacked by about three dozen Proud Boy members who would later post videos on social media bragging about beating up a foreigner.
After witnessing the violent beating, police detained three individuals, but none of them were members of the hate group. Reportedly, the only people even approached by officers were the anti-racist protesters. This has led local officials to raise concerns about the clear bias displayed that evening.
“It is revolting to see white supremacists commit a hate crime on the streets of New York City — in full view of the NYPD — and for none of them to be arrested or prosecuted,” Democratic City Councilman Rory Lancman told NY1.
I will update as soon as I learn any more concrete information.
— Rebecca J. Kavanagh (@DrRJKavanagh) October 13, 2018
New York officials are demanding an investigation
Sunday, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo criticized Republicans and called for a hate crime investigation into the clash. The governor also pointed fingers at Donald Trump, accusing the President and his party of fanning the flames of division and political tribalism that’s emboldened this sort of behavior all over the country.
“So the president is on the stump today saying ‘the Democrats are a mob, the Democrats will bring chaos, they are leftists,’ and then coincidentally, the Republican Party in the State of New York invites a group known for violence and for hate speech,” Cuomo said.
WAMC Northeast Public Radio also reported, that Cuomo suspects the Proud Boys were invited specifically to cause a ruckus.
The city’s Mayor Bill de Blasio, echoed these sentiments that a thorough probe was in order.
“The NYPD is fully investigating last night’s attack involving the Proud Boys. If you know anything, the NYPD wants your help,” De Blasio said, according to NY1. “Hate is never welcome in NYC and we will punish those responsible — whether they threw punches or incited violence — to the fullest extent of the law,” he added.
Check out pictures and clips from the incident below.
We continue to investigate the violent incident on the UES on Friday night, and need information regarding these persons-of-interest. no complaints have been filed; If you were the victim of a crime, or have information about the incident, please call 1-800-577-TIPS. @NYPDTips pic.twitter.com/27hiXunk61
— NYPD NEWS (@NYPDnews) October 14, 2018
Here's a portion of the livestream uploaded by a Proud Boy (since deleted) which shows a member bragging about kicking "a foreigner" in the head. full video here: https://t.co/PBJoW8hCGi pic.twitter.com/qlZipdRMsd
— Jake Offenhartz (@jangelooff) October 13, 2018
Breaking: first confrontation. Antifa pepper sprayed proud boys and Patriot prayer after some posturing between the two pic.twitter.com/qP6aT1Mckt
— Mike “Vampire Hunter B” Bivins (@itsmikebivins) October 14, 2018