UPDATE, Monday, 2:51 p.m. Eastern Time: In a press conference Monday, the NYPD announced it was looking for 12 individuals related the violence that erupted following an event at New York City’s Metropolitan Republican Club Friday night. Nine of those individuals are affiliated with the Proud Boys and the NYPD believes it has enough evidence to charge them.
EARLIER: The 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?”
Here's video of the Proud Boy mob assault from tonight up close pic.twitter.com/frW09dcDHn
— Adam (@leftkist) October 13, 2018
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.
We continue to investigate the violent incident on the UES on Friday night, and need information regarding these persons-of-interest. no complaints have been filed; If you were the victim of a crime, or have information about the incident, please call 1-800-577-TIPS. @NYPDTips pic.twitter.com/27hiXunk61
— NYPD NEWS (@NYPDnews) October 14, 2018
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.
Huge brawl just happened and police came in to firenless lethal rounds on people. Right-wingers were clubbing people w clubs outside of Kelly’s Olympian, way worse than NYC last night. proud Boys and Patriot prayer and Antifa just had a huge wild fight pic.twitter.com/a750y2ai7J
— Mike “Vampire Hunter B” Bivins (@itsmikebivins) October 14, 2018
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.”
Statement from the Metropolitan Republican Club regarding the events surrounding the vandalism of the Club on Friday morning, October 12, 2018. pic.twitter.com/mfzyTEbijS
— Metropolitan Republican Club (@metgopclub) October 14, 2018
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.