Brawl outside NY Proud Boys event leads to arrests, spawns 2 opposite stories
Two different takes on the violent fracas that broke out following a Proud Boys event at the Metropolitan Republican Club’s clubhouse on Saturday evening have been pushed on Twitter, with each side accusing the other of being the instigator.
The violence was preceded by a protest outside the NYC GOP headquarters that hosted the gathering. The meeting was headlined by the alt-right group’s founder and vice co-founder Gavin McInnes, touted as the “Godfather of the Hipster Movement” who exposed “The Deep State Socialists.”
Tensions flared up ahead of the event. Early Friday, the club’s entrance was defaced by alleged Antifa vandals, who spray-painted anarchist graffiti on its doors, smashed a window with a brick, and glued the locks. The perpetrators left a note, accusing the Republican Party of “championing mass misery” and promising that the attack was “just the beginning.”
On Saturday evening, around 80 protesters encircled the club, taunting those gathered with anti-fascist slogans. After the event wrapped up, police who were on standby to prevent altercations between rival groups, escorted the Proud Boys down Park Avenue, with protesters trailing behind.
It was around that time when three Antifa protesters attacked a Proud Boy who was leaving the club. The New York Post reported that the group ganged up on the 30-year-old man as he dropped his backpack. Preventing him from picking it up, one of the protesters slapped him and snatched the bag. Police promptly arrested the perpetrators, identified as Finbarr Slonim, Caleb Perkins, and Kai Russo.
They were charged with misdemeanor assault, criminal possession of stolen property, petty larceny and resisting arrest. The three were released “on their own recognizance” without posting bail.
The brawl that sparked the heated debate on Twitter, however, followed later on, and was captured on video. The video presumably shows a group of Proud Boys members confronting a man who is then seen on the ground. It’s unclear from the video what prompted the right-wing activists to rush towards the alleged Antifa protester.
Shay Horse, a photojournalist who filmed the melee, told BuzzFeed that the protester ripped a ‘Make America Great Again’ hat off the head of a Proud Boy. Horse alleged that the protester was beaten up and said he saw several other people lying on the ground in the aftermath of the fight.
Liberals on Twitter fumed over what they say was a lackluster police response to the incident, while calling on law enforcement to identify and take into custody those involved in the scuffles.
Police have pledged to investigate the footage, saying that "there is no tolerance for violence anywhere in New York City, and the NYPD will do everything in its power to ensure public safety."
New York Attorney General Barbara Underwood joined the calls for a thorough investigation, tweeting that she was "disturbed and disgusted by last night's attacks involving the so-called 'Proud Boys.'"
I'm disturbed and disgusted by last night's attacks involving the so-called "Proud Boys." Hate has no place in New York. This warrants immediate and thorough investigation by the NYPD to bring the perpetrators to justice. Anyone with information should call 1-800-577-TIPS.— NY AG Underwood (@NewYorkStateAG) October 13, 2018
Rory Lancman, Democratic Council member for the 24th NY District, took a swipe at the NYPD for the lack of action, calling the alleged Proud Boys attack on a protester “a hate crime.”
“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.” https://t.co/CjnPukIeFm— (((Rory Lancman))) (@RoryLancman) October 14, 2018
Meanwhile, conservative commentators have blamed "the violent democratic mob" for inciting the violence.
Conservative political commentator and journalist Chadwick Moore accused the mainstream media of spreading "lies" in an attempt to make the guilty party look like victims.
These people want to use violence and intimidation to take away your First Amendment right of assembly if they disagree with the speaker. the media is openly lying to make them look like the victims. They harassed, vandalized the club, showed up in a mob, then used violence 4/— Chadwick Moore (@Chadwick_Moore) October 13, 2018
"They harassed, vandalized the club, showed up in a mob, then used violence," he tweeted.
Another conservative activist, Mark Cernovich, accused Antifa of throwing the first punches.
If someone you don’t like is giving a speech, go out with your friends and do something else. If you want to protest, don’t jump a guy 3-on-1, as ANTIFA did last night. This is really basic stuff.— Mike Cernovich 🇺🇸 (@Cernovich) October 13, 2018
Several high-profile Democrats have been called out by Republicans recently for encouraging political violence. Former Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton said that Democrats “cannot be civil anymore” when dealing with the Republicans. Former Obama Administration Attorney General Eric Holder came under fire when he reversed Michelle Obama’s high-morals message of “When they go low, we go high” into “When they go low, we kick ‘em.”
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