By Robert J. Hansen
Sacramento, CA – Usually wearing black shirts, with a yellow rooster on a weather vane or yellow knuckles, black pants, and a flak jacket, that’s how a Proud Boy can be spotted from the many chapters throughout California and the United States.
The Proud Boys are a far-right, nearly exclusively male organization that has engaged in political violence that views its rival, Antifa, as the “enemy,” of traditional American values.
In downtown Sacramento, there have been several events in the past four to five years where Proud Boys have made public appearances.
In June 2021, a memorial for Breonna Taylor’s birthday coincided with a rally for Ashley Babbitt, a woman who was fatally shot during the January 6 attack on the United States Capitol.
A small number of Proud Boys and members of Antifa had a minor confrontation that the police did little to quell. Later that day some people from the Babbitt rally ruined the memorial for Breonna Taylor.
Chris “Odin” Young has attended many of these events in his roughly four years as a Proud Boy, but for almost a year has focused on work and his family.
The former Proud Boy said after years of demonstrating and political activism, as he called it, it has accomplished nothing.
“What has it changed? It hasn’t changed anything. It hasn’t created positivity,” Young said.
Young, 38, said he joined Proud Boys thinking it was a group of honorable men who were like-minded who wanted to live by a certain code of honor, integrity, morals, values, and uphold the traditional nuclear family.
“I think it’s something that’s important and is slowly being eradicated by liberal ideology,” Young said. “I wanted to be involved with men who I thought were like me.”
Instead, Young found out that “90 percent of them are degenerate scumbags.”
Young says he has built chapters and brought in lots of members but that there are leadership issues and a schism between members that could cause the end of the Proud Boys.
“Proud Boys isn’t gonna last much longer,” Young said.
There are two ideologies within the group according to Young. One he calls the “party boys” mentality which is members who joined for the fraternity and party aspects which it was founded on, and the “rally boys” who joined to be part of the political rallies and demonstrations.
“This is the reason why chapters butt heads. And the bylaws are just as stupid, nobody follows the bylaws,” Young said. “People just let whoever they want and that’s how you get guys throwing up Romans, it’s not gonna last much longer.”
Young called what happened at the January 6 attack on the Capitol a “s*** show,” and said, “I don’t think it was an insurrection though,” Young said. “I know what happened, I got live updates, it was just a s*** show.”
Most of the members of Young’s chapter, he claimed, would not attack people unprovoked.
“Typically, the guys that I was around, we’re decent dudes that wouldn’t just go up and start bashing people.”
Young said it only takes one person to make the entire chapter look bad.
“One guy does something stupid and the whole organization is going to suffer,” Youngs said.
Young says there was a rally where he planned to march to Cesar Chavez Park in downtown Sacramento and plant an American flag on the ground.
Young was in communication with the Sacramento Police Department the entire day and when he announced to the group to begin marching he received a phone call from the Attorney General’s Office.
“He said ‘if you go outside those barriers there’s going to be consequences,’” Young said.
Young said he complied with the attorney and told the group that unfortunately they would not March outside the gate.
“They were obviously p***** and then Jeffrey (Perrine) took the microphone and he was like ‘f*** that,’” Young said. “It only took one person to rally everybody there.”
Young said they then marched to Cesar Chavez and a fight broke out.
“It took just one person to get everyone riled up,” Young said. “So all it took was one person to get all those people riled up and ‘storm the Capitol’ and that’s how it happened, there was nothing planned.”
When asked if former President Donald Trump had something to do with getting the crowd prepared to attack the Capitol, Young called him “an idiot.”
“He didn’t know, he certainly didn’t know what was gonna happen,” Young said.
In March, a group of Proud Boys held a banner drop at an overpass in Rancho Cordova where they attacked a group of independent journalists, members of the Black Zebra Impact Team.
The incident is recorded and can be seen here.
The journalists were only recording the scene when a member knocked the phone out of one cameraman’s hand and hit him with a three to four-foot pole while charging at the other BZIT member.
Two weeks ago, Proud Boy Tyler Greenhalgh was at Howe Avenue and Fair Oaks Boulevard while the City of Sacramento was removing a homeless encampment.
He and BZIT members got into a verbal altercation which eventually calmed down to a conversation which can be seen here.
Greenhalgh seemed to know and was supportive of the cleanup crew, Forensiclean, which was contracted by Sacramento County to clean up and clear homeless encampments.
Sacramento Police did very little to defuse the situation between the BZIT camera crew and Greenhalgh.
Young says that law enforcement officers were members of Proud Boys before the January 6 attack on the Capitol in Washington, D.C. and since then there are few if any who still affiliate with the group.
Young said one day at the Capitol in Sacramento, the officers that stood by while a member spoke about the police being there protecting the government, not them.
“I realized that day, that no matter what happens, a cop is always going to execute an order,” Young said.
Young said it was a sad day for him and is no longer the supporter of law enforcement that he once was.
Young received an odd text message that when he responded it ended up being agents with the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI).
They told him they were about 20 minutes from his location and asked if he would meet up with them.
“About a thousand things go through your head. I don’t break laws, I don’t have anything to hide,” Young’s said.
He told them he wasn’t comfortable meeting anywhere except the Galt Police Department.
Young got there early to make sure nothing unexpected was waiting for him and the FBI agents got there on time as planned.
“What they were trying to do was get information about what I knew about Proud Boys and the whole January 6 thing,” Young said.
The agents ultimately tried to get Young to infiltrate a local Antifa chapter which he refused to do.
“They wanted me to be a lone agent gathering information on Antifa,” Young said. “At that point, I thought they were trying to set me up to be a patsy or something.”
During this interaction with the FBI, Young was in communication with his leadership letting them know what was happening.
“I went home and spoke to my leadership about it and I called them (the FBI) back and told them what kind of loyalty would I have working with a group that is trying to bring down my brothers?” Young said.
Paranoia within the chapter began to circulate that Young had turned informant for the FBI.
“After everything that I had done, it just trickled down and I essentially wanted to leave with my honor,” Young said. “We had a meeting and I stepped away.”
Young is married and just had a second child and his family is his focus now.
He has also started his own organization, Bowery Boys. focused on everything he thought the Proud Boys were supposed to be and says it will not be a political organization.