Enrique Tarrio, the leader of the far-right group the Proud Boys, was recently arrested. His group gained some attention back in the fall of 2020 during a presidential debate. The very controversial group only looks worse because of this incident.
Tarrio was in Washington, D.C. last month in support of the “Stop the Steal” rally, which was held due to the belief that the presidential election was stolen. He allegedly burnt a Black Lives Matter banner which had been taken from a Black church. This act led him to be charged with destruction of property (CNN).
During his arrest, he had two firearm magazines in his possession. An additional charge of Possession of High Capacity Feeding Device was also tacked on to his arrest (CNN).
On Tuesday, Tarrio pleaded not guilty to some of the charges he faces. He was released without bail. The judge has told him to stay out of Washington, D.C. until his next scheduled court appearance on June 8 (Fox). This is important since President Trump is having “The March to Save America” on January 6.
Tarrio plans to reimburse the church and plead guilty to the destruction of property charges he faces (Fox).
Tarrio has been open about the incident as evidenced by his “writing in a post on the social media website Parler that ‘against the wishes of my attorney I am here today to admit that I am the person responsible for the burning of this sign’” (CNN).
According to Fox News, “The Proud Boys are an all-male group of conservative ‘Western chauvinists’ known for brawling with Antifa members at protests in major cities around the country.”
A lot of controversy involving them occurred at a recent presidential debate, an event they weren’t even a part of. When asked by moderator Chris Wallace to condemn white supremacists, specifically the Proud Boys, President Trump said, “Proud boys, stand back and stand by.” Many viewed this as a failure to condemn white supremacy (AP).
Carrega, Christina, et al. “Proud Boys Leader Arrested for Allegedly Burning Black Lives Matter Banner at DC Church.” CNN, Cable News Network, 5 Jan. 2021, http://www.cnn.com/2021/01/04/politics/proud-boys-arrest-black-lives-matter-banner/index.html.
March to Save America, marchtosaveamerica.com/.
Ronayne, Kathleen. “Trump to Far-Right Extremists: ‘Stand Back and Stand by’.” AP NEWS, Associated Press, 30 Sept. 2020, apnews.com/article/election-2020-joe-biden-race-and-ethnicity-donald-trump-chris-wallace-0b32339da25fbc9e8b7c7c7066a1db0f.
Ruiz, Michael, and Jake Gibson. “Proud Boys Leader Enrique Tarrio Pleads Not Guilty to DC Charges; Released without Bail.” Fox News, FOX News Network, 5 Jan. 2021, http://www.foxnews.com/us/proud-boys-leader-enrique-tarrio-dc-charges.