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NYPD Makes Assurances, but No New Arrests, on Proud Boys Mob Violence
Written by <a href="index.php?option=com_comprofiler&task=userProfile&user=46077"><span class="small">Luke Barnes, ThinkProgress</span></a>   
Monday, 15 October 2018 13:36

Barnes writes: "Detectives are attempting to identify three persons-of-interest - who somehow the entire internet has already identified."

A fight breaks out on E. 83rd street near the Metropolitan Republican Club on Friday. (photo: Sam Costanza/New York Daily News)
A fight breaks out on E. 83rd street near the Metropolitan Republican Club on Friday. (photo: Sam Costanza/New York Daily News)

NYPD Makes Assurances, but No New Arrests, on Proud Boys Mob Violence

By Luke Barnes, ThinkProgress

15 October 18

Detectives are attempting to identify three persons-of-interest -- who somehow the entire internet has already identified.

he New York Police Department announced Sunday night that it was continuing to investigate the pro-Trump street gang which violently attacked several individuals after an event at New York City’s Metropolitan Republican Club — but made no new updates, despite the internet being awash with information on suspects involved.

The NYPD said that it “continues to investigate the violent incident in the 19th precinct on Friday night and is asking for the public’s help” in identifying three persons-of-interest in relation to the incident on Friday. A spokesman for the Deputy Commissioner for Public Information told ThinkProgress on Monday morning that they had no new updates in relation to the case.

The person-of-interest posters released describe the men as “Suspect only — No probable cause for arrest” despite the fact that two of the suspects can be seen attacking people on sidewalks before yelling “Do you feel brave now, faggot?”

According to the Southern Poverty Law Center, at least two individuals who took part in Friday’s street violence were members of the 211 Bootboys, a far-right skinhead gang based in Manhattan that had previously been tied to the brutal beating of two grad students at a bar in 2017. A third individual, who is listed as one of the NYPD’s persons of interest, has belonged to the Latino skinhead group Battalion 49 and previously attended the Unite the Right rally in Charlottesville last year.

In the past fortnight alone the Proud Boys have been involved in political violence in New York City, Portland, Oregon, and Providence, Rhode Island. On Saturday evening, a group of Proud Boys joined far-right activist Joey Gibson in Portland in what was billed as a “Flash Mob for Law and Order” but quickly descended into a series of scuffles, with the Oregonian reporting that knuckle dusters, knives, and guns were recovered. Last weekend outside the State House in Providence, the Proud Boys also started a fight with counter-protesters before then gloating about it afterward.

But despite these repeated incidents of violence, the police have taken a hands-off approach to the Proud Boys’ flash-violence. No arrests were made of Proud Boys either last weekend in Providence or this weekend in Portland, while in New York City the only three arrests made were of counter-protesters.

The Metropolitan Republican Club, meanwhile, issued a statement on Sunday in which it expressed its complete befuddlement about why a speech by Proud Boys’ leader Gavin McInnes, who previously said that “fighting solves everything,” would bring with such violence. “We want to foster civil discussion, but never endorse violence,” the statement read. “Gavin’s talk on Friday night, while at times was politically incorrect and a bit edgy, was certainly not inciting violence.” The club added that it “cannot thank the NYPD enough for all their efforts to keep everyone safe and allow our event to take place.”

According to Bedford + Bowery, McInnes’ role in helping to foster “civil discussion” at the Metropolitan Republican Club was to help re-enact the murder of the leader of the Japanese Socialist Party, Inejiro Asanuma, at the hands of far-right extremist Otoya Yamaguchi, before then descending into a series of crass remarks about Asian accents and names. An image of Yamaguchi stabbing Asanuma has become regularly altered into “fashwave,” a form of far-right propaganda.

Various New York City and state officials voiced their concern at the violence. Attorney General Barbara Underwood said that she was “disturbed and disgusted” while NYC Public Advocate Letitia James described the Proud Boys as “neo-fascist” people who engaged in “hate-fueled mob violence.” Governor Andrew Cuomo (D) meanwhile said that he’d directed the State Police Hate Crimes Unit to work with the NYPD in investigating the incident.

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-2 # jwb110 2018-10-16 11:53
If it takes an open carry law to protect oneself on the city streets of NY from the new Trump Brownshirts then so be it.
0 # Working Class 2018-10-16 13:24
They are soooo brave in a group. Wonder how brave they will be once individuals are identified and they are afraid to go anywhere alone?
0 # lfeuille 2018-10-16 14:28
There has to be an investigation into police inaction as well. The cops let it happen and didn't intervene.