2 Proud Boys going on trial over 2018 clash in New York
NEW YORK (AP) — Two members of the far-right Proud Boys group are going on trial this week for their roles in a violent clash with left-wing protesters in New York.
But no victims will testify at the trial over the October 2018 brawl outside the Metropolitan Republican Club. That's because the victims are not cooperating with police.
The New York Times reports that the Manhattan district attorney's office is expected to rely on video from multiple sources in prosecuting Proud Boys members Maxwell Hare and John Kinsman.
"The primary evidence before the grand jury — and the only evidence of how the physical altercation began — was video evidence," a prosecutor, Joshua Steinglass, wrote in a court filing.
The Proud Boys and members of the loosely organized anti-fascist group that calls itself antifa battled after a speech by Proud Boys founder Gavin McInnes.
The Times says security camera footage it obtained shows that the Proud Boys started the fight.
Ten members and associates of the Proud Boys were arrested in the days following the clash. Two of them, Hare and Kinsman, are going on trial in Manhattan this week on charges of riot and attempted assault. Prosecutors are not charging the defendants with assault because the charge requires evidence of injury.
Lawyers for Hare and Kinsman have indicated they may argue that their clients believed they needed to resort to force.
"Antifa's only missing accessory was war paint," the lawyers wrote in one filing. "They gathered and lay in wait in the Upper East Side to aggressively attack the Proud Boys exiting the club."
The Southern Poverty Law Center, a liberal advocacy organization, has designated the all-male Proud Boys as a hate group. McInnes, a Vice Media co-founder, quit the Proud Boys a month after the clash that followed his speech.