Former President Trump has hinted at the idea that if he were to win the 2024 election, he would pardon many of the January 6 rioters. That group — there have been more than 1,000 arrests — has among it a sizeable subset who are members of the White Nationalist group called the Proud Boys, who Trump famously shouted out during a presidential debate. (Trump: “Proud Boys, stand back and stand by.”)
On September 5 of this year, former Proud Boys leader Enrique Tarrio was sentenced to 22 years in prison for seditious conspiracy to overthrow the government and multiple other counts. On September 1, Proud Boys associates “Ethan Nordean, 32, of Auburn, Washington, was sentenced to 18 years in prison and 36 months of supervised release and Dominic Pezzola, 45, of Rochester, New York, was sentenced to 10 years in prison and 36 months of supervised release.”
On September 17, the Proud Boys group, along with other MAGA supporters, gathered outside Trump Tower in New York City to protest the “persecution” of its members by law enforcement, a protest that was captured on video and distributed by an operation called Freedom News TV.
The video begins with a man shouting “free the Proud Boys, they did nothing wrong” and later shows two men standing together, one of whom gives a White Power hand signal and yells “Trump for the Proud Boys.” Though the video portrays a frenetic and loud scene, observers estimated about 100 Trump supporters were present.
"Proud Boys forever! The real men who stand up for American women and children!" a Trump supporter shouted outside of Trump Tower as Trump Caravan stopped on 5th Avenue in Manhattan— Oliya Scootercaster 🛴 (@ScooterCasterNY) September 17, 2023
Video by Ed Quinn [email protected] to license pic.twitter.com/oDDnNfCUdD
Former Republican, Marine, lawyer and current Democrat Ron Filipkowski wrote of the scene: “Proud Boys and Trump’s MAGA supporters held a rally outside Trump Tower NYC today to send a clear message that if he is re-elected, they expect full pardons for the leaders of the J6 insurrection.”