A Michigan official held up his rifle during a livestream after a woman asked him to publicly condemn the Proud Boys

A Michigan official held up his rifle during a livestream after a woman asked him to publicly condemn the Proud Boys
Members of the far-right group Proud Boys make 'OK' hand gestures indicating "white power" as supporters of U.S. President Donald Trump gather in front of the U.S. Capitol Building to protest against the certification of the 2020 U.S. presidential election results by the U.S. Congress, in Washington, US, January 6, 2021.Jim Urquhart/Reuters
  • A Michigan woman asked a city official to condemn the Proud Boys during a live stream meeting and he showed off his rifle instead.
  • Keli MacIntosh asked officials from the Michigan Grand Traverse County Board of Commissioners if they would denounce the group that has seen multiple arrests after the January 6 Capitol attacks that killed five people.
  • The commission's vice chair, Ron Clous, showed a semiautomatic rifle after the question was posed.
  • Clous told the Traverse City Record-Eagle he would not denounce any group, including the Proud Boys who he described as "decent guys."

A Michigan woman asked a city official to condemn the Proud Boys during a live stream meeting. Instead, he flashed his rifle.

Keli MacIntosh asked officials from the Michigan Grand Traverse County Board of Commissioners if they would denounce the Proud Boys during Wednesday's live-streamed public meeting.

She referred to the county's status as a "Second Amendment sanctuary," threats against Governor Gretchen Whitmer who was the center of a kidnapping plot last fall, and the Proud Boys' armed presence at the state capitol. Members of the Proud Boys have been charged in the January 6 Capitol attacks that killed five people.
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"It's really hard to tell the difference between the Proud Boys and the message they want through our state, how that's different from what's happened in Washington," MacIntosh said, adding that welcoming the Proud Boys and their message has "changed the environment in Northern Michigan from a hunting culture to that of a gun culture."

"Will you please make some sort of public statement for the community that you do not accept the behaviors?" MacIntosh asked.

As MacIntosh poses her question to the board, Ron Clous, the commission's vice-chair, can be seen rising from his seat, stepping out of the frame, and returning with a semiautomatic rifle in his hands, the video shows.
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MacIntosh told The Washington Post she was terrified after the incident.

"He is supposed to be looking out for the best interests of the community," she told The Post. "What is the message he's trying to convey? That if someone speaks out against us, we'll just threaten them with a gun?" Clous spoke to the Traverse City Record-Eagle and defended his actions.
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"I was just going to show the rifle and show that I fully support the Second Amendment, but then I opted not to ... I was in my home," he said.

He told the newspaper he won't denounce any group, including Black Lives Matter, the NFL, or LBGTQ.

"The only thing I know about them (Proud Boys) is when they came and spoke to us," Clous said. "They were probably the most respected folks that got up and talked. They were decent guys and they treated us with respect.
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The Southern Poverty Law Center considered the Proud Boys as a hate group.

Intosh claimed the commissioner invited the Proud Boys to speak for 20 minutes at a March meeting, but the commission's Chairman Rob Hentschel denied the claim.

"I'm not a member of Proud Boys and I did not give a Proud Boy 20 minutes of time," Hentschel, who appeared amused when Clous showed up his firearm, said in Wednesday's meeting.
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"I've met Black, multiracial, and Puerto Rican Proud Boys - they've informed me they have gay Proud Boys," he added. "I don't see how that's a hate group."
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