MANHATTAN (CN) – New York City police arrested two members of the far-right Proud Boys on Friday, a week after videos captured members of the group beating up protesters outside the official Manhattan club of the Republican Party.
Proud Boy Geoffrey Young, 38, was released on his own recognizance after being arraigned on two misdemeanor counts of riot in the second degree and attempted assault in the third degree.
A New York City police detective said that surveillance video caught Young punching and putting one person in a headlock, while kicking another person in the stomach.
A witness recorded Young kicking a third person three times in the head, police say.
The New York Daily News reported that police also arrested Jay Kinsman, who has not yet been arraigned, on Friday.
The arrests fall a full week after video captured the NYPD standing by as Proud Boy members attacked protesters outside the Upper East Side’s Manhattan Republican Club, which invited the group’s leader Gavin McInnes to reenact the samurai sword assassination of a Japanese socialist.
After that event, video captured Proud Boys participating in violence, but the NYPD arrested only three anti-fascist protesters that night.
New York City Public Advocate Letitia James, the Democratic nominee for state attorney general, pushed for police action the day after the violence.
“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,” James tweeted on Oct. 13. “New York will not become the next Charlottesville, and we refuse to let the actions of a hateful few define our city.”
Legal Aid attorney Rebecca Kavanagh argued that the charges show the NYPD continues to treat the group with kid gloves.
“Why when video shows #ProudBoys stomping on person lying on ground in the fetal position is #NYPD planning only to charge them w/ Riot & Attempted Assault?” Kavanagh tweeted two days before the charges became public. “Riot is a Misdemeanor & I guarantee my clients would be charged w/ Gang Assault.”
The Daily News reported that police are looking for seven more Proud Boys and three anti-fascist protesters, widely known as Antifa.
In a press conference on Thursday, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio suggested that both sides are complicating the investigation.
“You’ve got two factions, if you will, that unfortunately both seem to engage in violence at times and don’t want to cooperate with the police,” de Blasio told reporters. “That makes this more complicated.”
Governor Andrew Cuomo refused to draw equivalencies between the groups.
“The Proud Boys are a hate group,” Cuomo told WCBS this morning. “They are a white supremacist group, anti-women group and there was violence after they brought the Proud Boys and they brought them to the Republican headquarters.”