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Proud Boys’ views on violence take center stage at January 6 trial

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“If violence happened, it was celebrated,” Mr. Greene said, “and people were encouraged to respond in kind from someone attacking them or whatever. that I drew my expectations: from the people around me.

Early in his testimony, Mr. Greene challenged another of the Proud Boys’ oft-repeated statements about violence: that members of the group never seek aggression, but simply react to it.

He told the jury how a large group of Proud Boys set out to seek conflict with their leftist opponents in the antifa movement on December 11, 2020, a night before attending a pro-Trump rally in Washington.

“When we were walking, we were looking for antifa,” he testified. “We were trying to get as close as possible, to come face to face with them. And when we found them, we tried to push them into a physical confrontation.

In fact, the confrontation took place the following evening – December 12 – when, as the jury heard on several occasions, Mr. Tarrio and several other Proud Boys stole a Black Lives Matter banner from a local church and l burned in the streets. Soon after, the Proud Boys got into a violent fight with antifa protesters and some of their own members were stabbed.

Prosecutors plan to use the incident to show the jury how the Proud Boys turned on police after years of disturbingly close relationships with officers across the country. The government wants to demonstrate that the group was disillusioned, believing that the forces of order had failed to protect it, to explain the events of January 6 when Proud Boys took the initiative to attack the police.

But while the jury was told about some of the violent episodes of the Proud Boys, they didn’t hear about all of them. Last week, Jason McCullough, the lead prosecutor in the case, told Judge Timothy J. Kelly without the presence of the jury that the government deliberately did not seek to present evidence of the group’s prior acts of aggression – which, he noted, were considerable.

nytimes Gt

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