What’s next for the Proud Boys in Florida?

3 Florida members face charges in connection with Capitol violence

As three Florida Proud Boys members face federal charges in connection with the Capitol Hill riots, other members are now questioning where the group is headed.
As three Florida Proud Boys members face federal charges in connection with the Capitol Hill riots, other members are now questioning where the group is headed.

ORLANDO, Fla. – As three Florida Proud Boys members face federal charges in connection with the Capitol Hill riots, other members are now questioning where the group is headed.

Joseph Biggs, 37, of Ormond Beach, was among those arrested.

He was arrested by the FBI on Wednesday, and now faces allegations of inciting people to be on Capitol Hill on Jan. 6.

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“To be clear, the agenda of the Proud Boys and groups like the Proud Boys is to overthrow the government,” said Lecia Brooks.

Brooks is the Chief of Staff for the Southern Poverty Law Center, an organization that watches extremist groups across the country.

“In very real ways they became the face of the Alt-Right,” she said.

News 6 investigated and found out the Proud Boys appear to be pulling away from former President Donald Trump.

On Inauguration Day, one Proud Boys member called Trump “a failure” in a post made on the social media app Telegram.

He wrote to more than 36,000 other members that Trump’s campaign “gave way to the most naïve and squandered presidency we’ve ever known. I didn’t see that coming, and neither did you, but it’s time now we look to a future without Donald Trump leading us.”

“Make no mistake about it, they’re not going anywhere,” Brooks said. “QAnon is not going anywhere. The insurrection at the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6 really served to increase the recruitment amongst groups like this.”

Brooks said there are three groups her organization is watching: The Proud Boys, QAnon and all of the white nationalist groups.

She said all three have staying power, and all three have roots already planted in Florida.

“They will show up in your area,” she said. “Whenever they are given a hint that there is some support, they will show up at these rallies, and they will take advantage of political chaos and discourse to advance their own agenda.”

The FBI warns there are more arrests that will result from the U.S. Capitol riots.

Biggs could be sentenced to more than 20 years in prison if he’s convicted.


About the Author:

Erik Sandoval joined the News 6 team as a reporter in May 2013 and became an Investigator in 2020. During his time at News 6, Erik has covered several major stories, including the 2016 Presidential campaign. He was also one of the first reporters live on the air at the Pulse Nightclub shooting.