Proud Boys 'a threat' to democracy, Portland group says
The Western States Center is striking the alarm bell from their downtown office on Southwest Sixth Avenue, just blocks away from the site of rioting between the Proud Boys and their black-clad leftists foes, Antifa, on June 30.
"Democratic institutions really need to understand the serious threat posed by the Proud Boys," Western States staffer Lindsay Schubiner told the Tribune. "We really see them as a dangerous group that provokes violence tied to their racist views."
Western States has been advocating for Mykel Mosley, a 17-year-old African American teenager they say was wrongfully arrested after he was allegedly assaulted by several prominent Proud Boys on May 11 near the Vancouver Mall.
The incident, captured on cellphone video, started after Mosley apparently shouted an obscenity to several Proud Boys driving by in a truck displaying a Donald Trump flag.
The Proud Boys — identified by Western States as Tusitala "Tiny" Toese, Russell Schultz and Donovon Flippo — seem to have leaped from the truck and chased Mosley down.
"We are not your average victimized Trump supporters we fight back and we know how to throw our hand," Toese wrote on social media after the incident.
"You get smacked and now your [sic] the victim you asked for it," added Flippo.
The altercation caused mall cops to enter the fray — but it was Mosley who ended up in a juvenile detention center over Mother's Day weekend, facing charges of criminal trespassing and third-degree assault.
Western States says Vancouver Police didn't adequately investigate the circumstances or even identify the Proud Boys before they let them leave.
In a letter dated June 25, the nonprofit organization called on Clark County Prosecuting Attorney Tony Golik to drop the charges. He did.
"We wanted to engage because of the incredible injustice committed against him, where he was charged instead of the adults who pursued and assaulted him," said Schubiner. "The disaster was averted in Mykel's case, but there's still the threat of violence from the Proud Boys, and there has to be accountability."
Portland attorney Kasia Rutledge knows Mosley through his volunteer work with the Portland Opportunities Industrialization Center's Community Healing Initiative, which provides teens with information about their constitutional rights when interacting with the police.
Rutledge believes both the prosecutor and the police failed Mosley. If they'd bothered to check, officers would have seen that Toese had an active warrant himself, she noted.
"I think that white supremacy and white nationalism and this alt-right individualistic behavior is tolerated and supported by our institutions," she said. "All the power structures failed this 17-year-old kid."