3 ar­rested in clashes af­ter speech by far-right leader

Daily Freeman (Kingston, NY) - - LOCAL NEWS -

NEW YORK >> 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.

Some 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.

“I am dis­turbed and dis­gusted by the videos I’ve seen of mem­bers of the ne­o­fas­cist, white su­prem­a­cist Proud Boys group en­gag­ing in hate-fu­eled mob vi­o­lence on the streets of New York City,” said Pub­lic Ad­vo­cate Leti­tia James, a Demo­crat who is run­ning for state at­tor­ney gen­eral.

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.”

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