Members of “Proud Boys,” a far-right men’s organization that is technically categorized as a hate group and an extremist group, beat two or three people following an event where Gavin McInnes, the controversial co-founder of Vice News and Proud Boys founder, gave a speech.
On Instagram, McInnes claimed the event would include a recreation of the 1960 assassination of Inejiro Asanuma, a Japanese socialist leader. He arrived at the event with a sword, as what can only be assumed was a nod to the video.
For context, the video of this brutal assassination (which occurred on-stage, during a speech, by a nationalist), is quite popular on far-right forums.
Roughly 30 Proud Boys members were involved in the attack. A video of the incident shows the beating, as well as threats and slurs thrown at the victims, of several people who appeared to be protesters.
Warning: The video below contains graphic violence.
BuzzFeed News reports that while three people were arrested by the New York Police Department following the attack, none were members of Proud Boys.
Instead, according to Rebecca Kavanagh, an attorney with the NYC Legal Aid Society, they were protestors.
Patch reports that an NYPD spokesperson told them three men had been arrested for assault, including two 20-year-old men charged with both robbery and assault, and one 35-year-old-man charged with resisting arrest, robbery, and assault.
In a statement, police said: “There is no tolerance for violence anywhere in New York City, and the NYPD will do everything in its power to ensure public safety.”
A close-up video of the attack has been circulating social media:
The beating occurred about two blocks from the Metropolitan Republican Club, where the event occurred. Prior to the event, the club had been vandalized with spray paint and broken windows. The NYPD notes it had police officers assigned to monitor the protest outside of the club, on East 83rd Street.
Shay Horse, a photojournalist from Brooklyn who was at the scene of the incident, says when police escorted Proud Boys members out of the event, they simply walked them to the corner. Horse alleges police did not make the group separate.
“There was a big group of like 30 of them, and they came out grunting … trying to hype each other up,” Horse told BuzzFeed in an interview.
“I heard them screaming and swearing at some guy on the ground,” Horse told BuzzFeed. “They were beating the shit out of him and kicking him in the head. One guy had his foot on the guy’s neck.”
“One dude started screaming, ‘Do you feel brave now, faggot?” He continued. In the video, you can make out what appears to be the slur “faggot” at least once.
Horse says that when an officer arrived, after appearing “slack-jawed” while on his scooter, he “ran into the crowd flailing his arms saying ‘that’s enough, that’s enough.’” After which, Proud Boys members left the scene, without being arrested, or even questioned.
They apparently took time for a group photo, where some flashed a white power symbol:
Horse alleges that one of the Proud Boys told him the brutal attack began because a protestor knocked a “Make America Great Again” hat off of a member’s head.
“It was just a pummeling — it wasn’t really a fight, because the three people never really got a chance to even stand up,” Horse said when describing the attack.