Christopher Hood was arraigned in West Roxbury Municipal Court Monday morning, following a clash between his white supremacist group and counterprotesters over the weekend during a drag queen book reading in Jamaica Plain.
Hood, who founded the Massachusetts chapter of the Nationalist Social Club in 2019 — a white supremacist group according to the Anti-Defamation League — arrived with a small group of members at a public drag queen story hour for children and families at the Loring Greenough House midday Saturday.
The NSC-131 group members were reportedly chanting “Pedo scum off our streets” and drew a small crowd of counterprotesters. An altercation erupted, leading to Hood and two counterprotesters being arrested, officials said.
Because of their lack of criminal history, according to the Suffolk District Attorney’s Office, charges were dropped against both counterprotesters.
Hood, 23, of Pepperell, faces a charge of affray, which carries no jail time. He will return to court for a pre-trial hearing on Sept. 19.
During the arraignment, the prosecutor noted Hood has three prior arrests on his record and his behavior is “escalating” and “becoming increasingly violent.”
The judge on Monday granted Hood conditional release and denied the commonwealth’s request to bar him from entering Suffolk County. Hood was ordered to have no contact with either of the other parties involved in the altercation.
Clashes between the neo-Nazi members and protesters continued Monday outside the courthouse. A crowd of people protesting the NSC-131 group gathered ahead of the morning’s arraignment, monitored by a heavy police presence.
WBZ video appears to show a violent altercation as people arriving with Hood in the morning kicked at one protester after he fell to the ground.
Protesters also chased Hood to his car as he left, yelling profanities and anti-Nazi sentiment. One young man leaned up on Hood’s vehicle and smiled widely through the windshield as cops attempted to clear the road, saying “See you September 19th.”
“Logistically, we know (white supremacist organizations) are recruiting,” said Elizabeth Rucker of Showing Up for Racial Justice Boston, who attended the protest outside the courthouse. “We need to equip our communities to respond. Not by saying, ‘Oh, if we ignore them they’ll go away.’ But directly confronting them wherever they show up and saying you’re not welcome here and being extremely loud about it.”
The charges against Hood and the dropped charges against the counterprotesters Monday, Rucker said, are a victory “of the community who showed up and made demands.”