Police Shrugged Off the Proud Boys, Till They Attacked the Capitol


As an alternative, he mentioned in an interview, the brokers requested for march routes and different plans to be able to separate the Proud Boys from counterprotesters. Different occasions, he mentioned, brokers warned that that they had picked up potential threats from the left in opposition to him or his associates.

However earlier than the Jan. 6 occasion, nobody contacted the leaders of the Proud Boys, Mr. Tarrio mentioned, though their gatherings at earlier Trump rallies in Washington had been marred by critical violence.

“They didn’t attain out to us,” he mentioned.

In summer time 2017, neo-Nazis, Klansmen and different white supremacists gathered in Charlottesville, Va., to announce their resurgence on the “Unite the Proper” rally. Its organizer, Jason Kessler, was a member of the Proud Boys.

The group had been based a yr earlier by Gavin McInnes, now 50, the co-creator of the media outlet Vice. (The corporate has lengthy since severed all ties.) He was a Canadian turned New Yorker with a document of statements attacking feminists and Muslims, and he usually expressed a half-ironic urge for food for mayhem. “Are you able to name for violence usually?” he as soon as requested in a web based video. “’Trigger I’m.”

The Proud Boys had been volunteering as physique guards for right-wing firebrands like Ann Coulter and Milo Yiannopoulos and regularly clashed with left-wing crowds, particularly at school campuses. Proud Boys “free speech” rallies in bastions of the left like Seattle, Portland or Berkeley, Calif., routinely resulted in road fights.

But Mr. McInnes shunned the Unite the Proper gathering, saying in a web based video: “Disavow, disavow, disavow.” By his account, the Proud Boys weren’t white supremacists however merely “Western chauvinists.” That stance helped the Proud Boys evade scrutiny from federal legislation enforcement.