3 arrested in clashes following speech by far-right leader
NEW YORK (AP) — Three people were arrested in New York City following violent clashes after a speech by the founder of a far-right group, and police said Saturday they were reviewing video of the clashes and could make additional arrests.
The violence Friday night followed a speech by Gavin McInnes, the founder of the Proud Boys, at the Metropolitan Republican Club. The male-only Proud Boys describe themselves as “western chauvinists.”
Videos posted on YouTube show clashes between the Proud Boys and groups that were protesting McInnes’ speech.
No serious injuries were reported.
The three arrested face assault charges and are awaiting arraignment Saturday in Manhattan criminal court. Police spokesman J. Peter Donald said the department was reviewing video and would make other arrests as warranted.
Several elected officials expressed outrage over the violence and blamed the Proud Boys, which has been designated as a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center.
“Authorities must review these videos immediately and make arrests and prosecute as appropriate,” Gov. Andrew Cuomo, a Democrat, said. “Hate cannot and will not be tolerated in New York.”
New York City Public Advocate Letitia James, a Democrat who is running for state attorney general, said, “I am disturbed and disgusted by the videos I’ve seen of members of the neo-fascist, white supremacist Proud Boys group engaging in hate-fueled mob violence on the streets of New York City.”
City Councilman Rory Lancman, also a Democrat, said video shows police officers were at the scene of an assault by Proud Boys members but did not arrest anyone from the group.
“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,” Lancman said.
The Republican club was vandalized ahead of Friday’s speech by McInnes, who is also a co-founder of Vice Media. Statewide Republican officials said the damage included smashed windows, a spray-painted door and a keypad lock covered in glue. A note left at the scene claimed that the damage was “just the beginning.”