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Far-right figurehead Gavin McInnes also says group has turned the page and now ‘want to make real change in the world’
Leader of far-right group Proud Boys complains about jail conditions, wants early release
Far-right figurehead Gavin McInnes has told a judge he suffered lasting physical and psychological injuries while in jail and wants to be released early.
The far-right leader of the Proud Boys said his incarceration had damaged his health.
McInnes appeared at Albany county court in New York on Thursday.
He was charged in 2016 with aggravated harassment, a charge against a victim who was not identified, after alleged attacks on two people at a gay bar in the city of Schenectady.
McInnes was charged in July 2017, after he allegedly hit four people outside a bar in Albany that the Proud Boys had attended, the Albany Times Union reported.
McInnes was initially indicted on 16 charges including three counts of felony assault and two misdemeanor counts of aggravated harassment.
McInnes’s case was thrown out on 6 February because of court missteps but a new indictment was filed in May.
“I have struggled since I left jail to recover from my injuries sustained while in jail,” he said in a public notice.
“I have been unable to get a job due to that incident and continue to struggle with post-traumatic stress disorder and other mental health issues,” he said.
McInnes said he required long-term physical and psychological treatment, including time in a residential facility for the treatment of his post-traumatic stress disorder.
McInnes said he was expecting jail officials to treat him respectfully while he awaits his latest trial.
McInnes said in a letter released by his lawyer, Leo Rifkin, that the court “has moved the goalposts”, by eliminating one-on-one supervision.
“No jail staff members will be present. I need 24-hour supervision to ensure a chance for real recovery from the severe trauma inflicted upon me while I was incarcerated,” McInnes said.
McInnes said he was disappointed he was being returned to jail “because of inappropriate tactics of outside associates” who had tried to exploit his public position.
Rifkin said in the letter that McInnes had been excluded from activities including attending sporting events and had not been allowed to pursue his group’s United Order.
Rifkin asked to drop the remaining charges.
When asked by Judge John Nulty if McInnes understood the judge’s conditions, McInnes replied, “I’m going to ask you, can you leave me in here longer?”
Nulty told McInnes that he understood that “you don’t have to like it” but that he was still accountable for the treatment he received while he was in jail.
Nulty granted McInnes’ request to have private meetings with his attorney and monitor in a jail room. The judge said he would not allow McInnes to use jail facilities for political events.
McInnes, 49, was formerly a top aide to Donald Trump and was a leader of the so-called “alt-right” movement, known for its racist, misogynistic and Islamophobic views.
His magazine, Vice News Tonight, and his website were delisted by Facebook this year.
The Proud Boys has drawn criticism from other rightwingers, including white nationalist Richard Spencer, who called them “the black flag of neo-Nazism”.
The website of the Proud Boys showed at least 10 members in the crowd at the Unite the Right rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, in August 2017.