NEW YORK – Two members of the Proud Boys, a far-right group, have been sentenced to four years in prison for their roles in a street fight on New York City’s Upper East Side last October.
State Supreme Court Judge Mark Dwyer sentenced Maxwell Hare, 27, and John Kinsman, 39, on Tuesday, according to the New York Times . The duo was convicted in August on charges of rioting, attempted assault, and attempted gang assault.
2 members of the far-right group Proud Boys were sentenced to 4 years in prison for attacking anti-fascist protesters outside a Republican club in Manhattan last yearhttps://t.co/jCs72lQCeK
— The New York Times (@nytimes) October 22, 2019
The charges stem from a brawl between the MAGA hat-wearing Proud Boys and the loosely organized anti-fascist group known as Antifa, VICE News reports . It happened after a speech by Proud Boys founder Gavin McInnes at the Metropolitan Republican Club.
No victims testified or spoke with police, so prosecutors had to rely on video footage of the violence. Based on that video, they determined Kinsman was the most violent of the group and Hare threw the first punches.
Hare and Kinsman were the first of a handful of Proud Boys members to go on trial. Both of them apologized for their actions on Tuesday.
"I'm sorry about the whole mess. I regret the entire incident," said Kinsman
Hare said he “made a mistake that night.”
As for the Hare and Kinsman’s hefty sentence, Judge Dwyer said it was in part intended to discourage extremists from rallying in New York in the future.
“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,” Dwyer said, according to the Times . “We don’t want that to happen in New York… especially at this time in the country when people are so divided.”