For nearly 18 months, the Proud Boys have been at the center of criminal and congressional investigations into the violent attack on the Capitol last year.
More than 40 members of the Proud Boys, a far-right group, have been charged in connection with the attack, including several of its leaders who now face seditious conspiracy charges. The organization was also highlighted this month during the first House committee hearing on January 6, which suggested that the Proud Boys were instrumental in fomenting the storming of the Capitol. .
Drawing on the work of online researchers, The New York Times has offered a detailed new view of the Proud Boys’ role in instigating the chaos that consumed the Capitol on January 6, 2021. After months of studying the footage video of the attack and looking into the internal communications of the Proud Boys, the Times determined that the members of the group operated in a coordinated manner that day in a manner not previously known and in a manner different from the hundreds of other rioters who stormed the building.
The Times analysis found a pattern in the way the Proud Boys moved on the pitch. Time and again, at key moments when the Capitol was breached, the group used the same set of tactics: identifying access points to the building, annoying other protesters, and sometimes directly joining in the violence. Facing resistance, group leaders reassessed and Proud Boys teams targeted new entry points to the Capitol.
Additionally, members of the Proud Boys, following orders from their leaders, did not wear their typical black and yellow uniforms that day. Instead, they intentionally dressed to blend in with the crowd and look like other protesters in a way that disguised their actions and – so far – downplayed their importance in pushing the action forward.
Lawyers for the Proud Boys have strongly denied that the group had a pre-arranged plan to storm the Capitol — let alone seditiously overthrow the government — and, for now, the case of the organization’s former leader. , Enrique Tarrio, and four of his subordinates. is due to stand trial in Washington in August. As the prosecution progresses and more members of the Proud Boys are arrested, more details will emerge about the pivotal role the group played on January 6.
But for now, the Times video offers the clearest and most comprehensive account.
The report was provided by Haley Willis and Cora Engelbrecht. Produced by Malachi Browne.