Over the weekend, videos and photos of the alt-right group the Proud Boys beating up protesters outside a Republican event in New York City on Friday have been shared thousands of times on social media. But, according to multiple accounts, none of the attackers have been arrested by the NYPD, despite multiple officers being on the scene that night.
At least 30 members of the Proud Boys, a frat-like alt-right group started by Vice co-founder Gavin McInnes in 2016, participated in the beatdown of three protesters, reports BuzzFeed News. While police were on the scene to break up the fight, which happened near the Metropolitan Republican Club in Manhattan, the group was allowed to disperse. Police didn’t question anyone on the scene or take them into custody.
In recordings of the fight, threats and homophobic slurs can be heard as the group descends on the vastly outnumbered protesters.
According to BuzzFeed News, three arrests were made that night in connection to the Republican event, but it was for a separate fight involving an alleged attack on an attendee.
Attorney Rebecca J. Kavanagh of Legal Aid New York verified on Twitter that the three people arrested Friday night were “anti-racist” protestors, not Proud Boys.
Caleb Perkins, 35, Kai Russo, 20, and Finbarr Slonim, 20, were arraigned in Manhattan Criminal Court on Saturday on charges of assault, larceny, aggravated harassment, attempted assault and resisting arrest, BuzzFeed reports.
Meanwhile, it’s been quite a different story for the Proud Boys, who took a group photo after the fight. A photographer covering the protests snapped photos of both the melee and the triumphant group pic afterward. Several men of color can be seen posing amongst the group, with a couple holding up the “white power” sign.
The Proud Boys subscribe to “Western chauvinism”—in which (mostly white) men “refuse to apologize for creating the modern world,” writes Proud Boy Magazine (via Rewire). As the Federalist reports, one of the central tenets of the organization is to refrain from masturbation (the “no wanks rule”) because it helps members “go out, talk to women, and then marry them, procreate, be strong American family men, help restore the natural order of things that had been knocked out of wack by feminism,” McInnes said.
This isn’t the first time a police department has been accused of acting slowly in pressing charges against violent alt-right groups. As Monique Judge reported for The Root back in August, Portland police were accused of singling out counter-protesters at an alt-right event, the Patriot Prayer rally.
“Ultimately, all of those injured [by police crowd control munitions] during the rally—as well as the four people arrested—were reportedly identified as counter-protesters,” wrote Judge.
BuzzFeed says that the NYPD hasn’t given any rationale as to why Proud Boy members who participated in the assault weren’t arrested on Friday night.
Local officials, including New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, have called for arrests to be made in the incident.
“Authorities must review these videos immediately and make arrests and prosecute as appropriate,” Cuomo said in a statement. “Hate cannot and will not be tolerated in New York.”
And New York Public Advocate and candidate for state Attorney General Letitia James released a statement via Twitter calling on the NYPD to investigate and arrest “each and every individual involved.”
“New York will not become the next Charlottesville, and we refuse to let the actions of a hateful few define our City,” she wrote. “Given the clear homophobic and anti-immigrant sentiments expressed in the videos, I strongly encourage Manhattan District Attorney Cy Vance to pursue hate crime charges in this matter.”