The “Proud Boys” gang — which recently had several members arrested for assaulting leftist protesters — is now officially an extremist group, according to the FBI.
Pro-transparency advocacy group Property of the People released a Washington state law enforcement document on Monday showing the FBI officially released its designation of the all-male, pro-Trump organization as “an extremist group with ties to white nationalism.”
The document, which was written by the Clark County Sheriff’s Office in Vancouver, Washington, detailed how one of its deputies, Erin Willey, dated a Proud Boy named Graham Jorgensen, who released a photo of her wearing Proud Boys apparel next to a photo of her in her patrol uniform as retaliation against her for ending their relationship.
“The FBI has warned local law enforcement agencies that the Proud Boys are actively recruiting in the Pacific Northwest and that some Proud Boys members have contributed to the recent escalation of violence at political rallies held at college campuses, and in cities like Charlottesville, Virginia, Portland, Oregon, and Seattle, Washington,” the document reads.
Property of the People tweeted that while it’s positive that the FBI is recognizing the Proud Boys as an extremist group, they could have done so much sooner given the group’s history of violence and violent rhetoric.
Property of the People releases doc revealing FBI considers #ProudBoys “an extremist group with ties to White Nationalism", but FBI missed it at first despite ample evidence re what PB's "believed in and […] promoted." #Antifa https://t.co/XP0vQFYfky
— PropertyOfThePeople (@PropOTP) November 19, 2018
As Grit Post reported in October, Proud Boys founder Gavin McInnes (who also co-founded VICE) said on his podcast that he wants “more violence from the Trump people,” and explicitly called on members to “choke a motherfucker” and “choke a tranny,” presumably referring to transgender individuals.
“If I do a video where I say ‘how about we start throwing bricks’, is that legal? You can’t call for violence on a specific person … Can you call for violence generally?” McInnes asked in one video. “‘Cause I am.”
Erin Willey isn’t the first law enforcement officer to affiliate with the Proud Boys. In August, Plaquemines Parish, Louisiana sheriff’s deputy Brian Green was placed on leave after his Proud Boys affiliation on social media was discovered. Green also recorded a video of himself reciting the Proud Boys oath, calling himself a “proud Western chauvinist.”
Tom Cahill is a contributor for Grit Post who covers political and economic news. He lives in Bend, Oregon. Send him an email at tom DOT v DOT cahill AT gmail DOT com.