Two Members Of Right-Wing Group Proud Boys Sentenced To 4 Years In Prison For Political Attack
Two members of the Proud Boys were sentenced Tuesday to four years in prison and five years of post-release supervision for assaulting anti-fascist protestors outside the Metropolitan Republican Club in Manhattan.
Maxwell Hare, 27, and John Kinsman, 40, were convicted in August of attempted gang assault, attempted assault and riot in August, after the jury rejected their claims that they had acted in self-defense.
“These defendants transformed a quiet, residential street into the site of a battle-royale, kicking and beating four individuals in a brutal act of political violence,” Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance said.
Hare and Kinsman are just two of ten Proud Boys members charged in connection to the assault on the anti-fascist protestors. The group is known to patrol Trump rallies to intercept protestors.
The judge overseeing the case said the punishment is in part to deter future politically-motivated assaults.
“I know enough about history to know what happened in Europe in the 30s when political street brawls were allowed to go ahead without any type of check from the criminal justice system,” said Justice Mark Dwyer. “We don’t want that to happen in New York … especially at this time in the country when people are so divided.”
Proud Boys, or self-proclaimed “western chauvinists,” are known for their neofascist, misogynist and anti-Muslim and anti-LGBT views. The group’s founder, Gavin McInnes, was set to speak at the Republican club last year.
The night before the event, hooded protestors broke windows at the club and left behind fliers warning of future attacks and calling McInnes a “hipster-fascist clown.” Protestors remained outside during and after the event, but were contained by police.
The police said that a handful of black-clad protesters went around the block to intercept the Proud Boys as they were leaving the event. McInnes and the defendants claim that the protestors initiated the conflict, but a surveillance video published by the New York Times shows a different story.
In the video, the protestors are shown stopping about 100 feet away from the Proud Boys. Then Hare began to run towards them, prompting one protestors to throw a water bottle in his direction and prompting the brawl.
The four victims refused to cooperate with the police and were never identified. Because of this, the defendants could not be charged with assault, as that requires evidence of injury. The most they could be charged with was attempted assault.
The defendants have both apologized for their actions. Mr. Hare said, “I made a mistake that night,” and Kinsman said, “I regret the entire incident.”
According to the District Attorney’s office, seven other Proud Boys members accepted plea deals and one is still awaiting trial.
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