3 Arrested in NYC Clashes After Speech by Far-Right Leader

Police said the department was reviewing video and would make other arrests as warranted

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 on the Upper East Side. 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 were released on recognizance after an 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 neo-fascist, 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.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo said hate would not be tolerated in New York. 

"Here's a message from a Queens boy to the so-called 'proud boys' - New York has zero tolerance for your BS," Cuomo said. 

On Sunday, he asked the FBI to launch an investigation into the violence. 

"Why did this club invite the Proud Boys, a hate group with a history of inciting violence?" he asked in a statement. "These vile acts of racism, division and discrimination are repugnant to American values, and have no place in our state."

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.

City Council President Corey Johnson said the Proud Boys ”and their loathsome brand of intolerance represent the opposite of everything we stand for” in New York City. 

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."

Police are asking anyone with information or video to call 1-800-577-TIPS.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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