Proud Boys Chairman Enrique Tarrio, whose group torched a BLM banner torn from a black church last month in Washington, has reportedly been arrested after returning to the nation’s capital for a pro-Trump protest.
Metropolitan Police nabbed Tarrio, 36, on Monday. During his arrest for destruction of property, he was allegedly found to be in possession of two high-capacity ammunition magazines, in violation of the District of Columbia’s strict gun laws, the New York Times reported.
The property charge stemmed from the burning of a Black Lives Matter banner during a protest last month. Tarrio had returned to Washington for a massive demonstration that is scheduled to take place on Wednesday, when Congress convenes to certify election results from Democrat Joe Biden’s victory over President Donald Trump.
The Proud Boys have been among the most aggressive and controversial backers of the president, rallying in recent weeks over Trump’s allegations of massive election fraud. The group has had a series of violent clashes with Antifa and BLM demonstrators at events across the country during Trump’s term, including confrontations that led to four people being stabbed last month in DC.
USA Today reporter Will Carless said he was interviewing by phone on Monday when sirens were heard blaring in the background. Tarrio told his driver to pull over the car, Carless said, then told the reporter, “They’re for me. Here’s something to write about.”
#BREAKINGI was just interviewing Proud Boys chairman Enrique Tarrio by phone.While we were on the call, sirens started blaring in the background.He told his driver to pull over. Said “They’re for me,” then “Here’s something to write about.”He *may have been arrested.
— Will Carless (@willcarless) January 4, 2021
Conservatives were outraged that DC police were apparently poised to pounce when Tarrio returned to the city, pointing out that BLM and Antifa rioters set fires, vandalized national monuments, destroyed property and threw rocks and other projectiles at police – mostly without being arrested.
“You can destroy an entire row of storefronts in DC and not get arrested, but if you destroy a Black Lives Matter flag…” said lawyer Will Chamberlain, co-publisher of Human Events.
You can destroy an entire row of storefronts in DC and not get arrested, but if you destroy a Black Lives Matter flag… https://t.co/jxpkgNiK27
— Will Chamberlain (@willchamberlain) January 4, 2021
Political analyst Matt Couch, who describes himself as a friend of Tarrio, said he believes the city could be sued for discrimination. “DC police didn’t arrest any of the rioters who burned the St. John’s Church, but they arrest Enrique Tarrio over a BLM banner,” he said.
Leader of the Proud Boys and my friend Enrique Tarrio is being arrested for a misdemeanor in Washington, D.C. as he just landed at the airport. They are arresting him for taking the fall for the burning of the Black Lives Matter Banner at the last event. Per Joe Biggs on phone.
— Matt Couch (@RealMattCouch) January 4, 2021
Tarrio, who is Afro-Cuban by heritage, took responsibility for the BLM banner burning in a Parler post last month. He denied that the incident was a hate crime, saying the only hatred in his heart “is for communism and an authoritarian government.” He called BLM a Marxist movement.
“Come get me if you feel like what I did was wrong,” Tarrio added. “We’ll let the public decide.”
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