Fights Breaks Out At Nia Wilson’s Vigil After Supporters Think Alleged Fraternity Member Killed Her
The man identified in the stabbing, John Cowell, is an alleged member of a group called “The Proud Boys”. The group was founded in 2016 by Vice Media co-founder Gavin McInnes. Many view them as an alt-right organization, according to BET, however, they disagree.
“We do not discriminate based upon race or sexual orientation/preference. We are not an ‘ism,’ ist,’ or ‘phobic’ that fits the Left’s narrative. We truly believe that the West Is The Best and welcome those who believe in the same tenets as us. We have an international reach, with members spanning the globe,”According to a statement from the group reported by BET.
However, that didn’t stop supporters of Nia Wilson from confronting who they believed was a member of The Proud Boys at the slain teen’s vigil. Friends and family were already on edge when rumors spread that the group had planned a meet-up in Downtown Oakland at the same time as the vigil. The gathering for Wilson became violent when a group of people attacked a man who they assumed to be a member of the Proud Boys.
When the video went viral “The Proud Boys” denied any plans for a meetup and involvement in any discriminatory behavior. Regardless of how the self-proclaimed pro-Western fraternal organization views themselves, many aren’t buying it including the Southern Poverty Law Center.
“Their disavowals of bigotry are belied by their actions: rank-and-file Proud Boys and leaders regularly spout white nationalist memes and maintain affiliations with known extremists. They are known for anti-Muslim and misogynistic rhetoric. Proud Boys have appeared alongside other hate groups at extremist gatherings like the ‘Unite the Right’ rally in Charlottesville,” the SPLC says.
In a statement, the group emailed to Hollywood Unlocked they stated,
“Proud Boys was founded by Gavin McInnes in 2016. It is a men’s fraternity. It is not now, nor has it ever been, a hate group. The Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC), on the other hand, is a discredited and highly disreputable attack dog of the far left. It masquerades as a civil rights organization and conceals the fact that it holds money in offshore accounts for the purpose of avoiding potential defamation judgments. Simply because the SPLC states that the Proud Boys is a hate group does not make it true.”
Take a look at the video of the alleged fraternity member being confronted below.