Ahead of the Trump Rally in the nation’s capital this week, D.C. authorities arrested Proud Boys leader Enrique Tarrio.
He was taken into custody for a warrant on alleged destruction of property.
The property in question was a Black Lives Matter Banner taken from a historic Black Church in D.C.
Prosecutors are calling for the property damage to also be investigated as a hate crime.
— The Hill (@thehill) January 5, 2021
D.C. police charged Proud Boys leader Enrique Tarrio with destruction of property and possession of two “high-capacity firearm magazines” https://t.co/2cka05lP5p
— Capital Journal (@WSJPolitics) January 5, 2021
Tarrio was taken into custody after a warrant was issued for his arrest for destruction of property, police said. He was also facing a weapons charges after officers found him with two high-capacity firearm magazines when he was arrested. https://t.co/Tu92kHigUA
— PBS NewsHour (@NewsHour) January 5, 2021
Now, Tarrio has publicly admitted to burning the banner.
Here’s his unapologetic post:
WOW. Read it. 😬 pic.twitter.com/GMiMLavRaw
— Parlertakes🇺🇸 (@parlertakes) December 18, 2020
Considering the amount of violence, hatred, and property destruction committed by BLM this year, it would be the ultimate hypocrisy to call this a hate crime.
Democrats and their media cohorts have enabled, ignored, or even celebrated the utter chaos perpetuated by BLM for months.
Recall the number of “peaceful protests” the media told us about as they stood in front of raging fires?
Yet, BLM is praised by the left.
Fake News CNN is funnier than the cartoons.
— Richard Green (@123RHGreen) August 27, 2020
WAMU.org reported these comments made by Tarrio for the burning of the BLM flag:
Enrique Tarrio, the chairman of the organization, told DCist/WAMU he was responsible for destroying the banner. His comments echo claims he made in a post on the social media site Parler, which is popular among fringe groups and on an episode of War Boys, a podcast affiliated with the Proud Boys, that aired Thursday.
“In the burning of the BLM sign, I was the one that lit it on fire,” Tarrio claimed on the podcast. “I was the person that went ahead and put the lighter to it and engulfed it in flames, and I am damn proud that I did.”
Two Black Lives Matter banners, one at Asbury United Methodist Church and one at Metropolitan AME Church, were reportedly burned during a right-wing rally that turned violent in the District on Saturday night. Tarrio says he was not sure the name of the church where he burned the sign, but believes its name started with an A. He says he didn’t know it was a Black church. He also says he doesn’t know who burned the second Black Lives Matter banner.
In an interview with DCist/WAMU, Tarrio said he decided to come forward after seeing the burning characterized as a possible hate crime by law enforcement officials.
“That kind of made me angry, to be honest with you,” he said. That term, he said, implies the act was motivated by factors like race, cultural background or religious affiliation, when it wasn’t.
“The crime that was committed was, yeah, OK, it was destruction of property, fine,” Tarrio said. “But I wanna see if this hate crime thing is a thing … I want to see what a jury of my peers would think.” He maintains the act was not a hate crime because Black Lives Matter “isn’t about race.”
On the podcast, which includes video streaming, Tarrio shared an image he claimed showed him lighting the banner on fire. The image shows a group of heavily armored men crouching around the sign, with two lighter flames held to an edge.
D.C. police said on Monday they are investigating the “destruction of property offense” as a hate crime, and in conjunction with the local FBI branch, are offering a $3,000 reward for information the leads to the arrest and indictment of individuals involved in the burning of the banner.
One of the churches sued the Proud Boys and claimed it was a racist attack:
BREAKING: We are suing the Proud Boys and their members for the racist attack on Metropolitan AME church in Washington DC. This attack was one of several levied against churches targeted for their support of the Black Lives Matter movement.
The Proud Boys are NOT above the law. pic.twitter.com/CB53Upi9wH
— Kristen Clarke (@KristenClarkeJD) January 4, 2021
We are proud to represent the Metropolitan AME church — one of our nation's most storied and important Black churches. The church was founded in 1872 and is led by Rev. William Lamar, IV. Read his powerful words here–> https://t.co/RcNxPgXGDk
— Kristen Clarke (@KristenClarkeJD) January 4, 2021
It was reported that Tarrio was also arrested for the possession of two high-capacity gun magazines.
D.C. police confirm Proud Boys leader, Enrique Tarrio, arrested on a warrant charging him in the burning a Black Lives Matter banner taken from a historic Black church last month. Police said he's also charged with possessing 2 gun magazines. Backstory: https://t.co/I1GnTBK9Xi
— Peter Hermann (@phscoop) January 4, 2021
A spokesman for the DC Police Dept confirmed Tarrio's arrest on charges of destruction of property and added that upon his arrest he was in possession of two high-capacity firearm magazines and was charged accordingly. https://t.co/6FRBcYt3Z9
— Katie Benner (@ktbenner) January 4, 2021
Matt Couch provided these updates on the situation:
Enrique Tarrio Update Proud Boys Founder arrested after landing in DC. Takes fall for Patriots https://t.co/pjsWnnQwLt
— Matt Couch (@RealMattCouch) January 4, 2021
Tarrio was on a phone call with a USA Today reporter at the time of his arrest and the outlet was quick to issue the following report:
Proud Boys chairman Enrique Tarrio was arrested Monday afternoon in Washington, D.C., shortly after landing in the nation’s capital to attend rallies protesting President Donald Trump’s loss in November’s election.
Tarrio, 36, was on a phone call with a USA Today reporter when the call was interrupted by loud sirens. He joked that “They’re for me,” and then, sounding confused, asked the driver of the car he was riding in to pull over. Tarrio told the reporter, “Here’s something to write about,” before hanging up the call.
In a statement, the Metropolitan Police Department said Tarrio was arrested and charged with destruction of property in connection with an incident last month where Tarrio set fire to a Black Lives Matter banner after a Trump rally. Tarrio later boasted about it on social media. Officials said Tarrio, who is a convicted felon, was arrested while in possession of two high-capacity firearm magazines and was additionally charged with “Possession of High Capacity Feeding Device.”
Earlier in the day, Tarrio, whose legal first name is Henry, was also sued by the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law in relation to the banner-burning incident. The lawsuit, filed in Washington, D.C., Superior Court, cites numerous instances of Proud Boys posting threatening and violent messages on social media before the December Trump rally that resulted in violence across downtown D.C.
Tarrio did not answer his phone or respond to text messages on Monday afternoon after the arrest. Tarrio, who lives in Miami, also serves as chief of staff of Latinos for Trump, a booster group with links to the White House.
On the social media site Parler, favored by the Proud Boys, Tarrio’s followers expressed anger and frustration at the news of his arrest.
“They are going to try there hardest to STOP PATRIOTS from getting into DC” one user wrote.
The left have already shown they’ll go to great lengths to keep Patriots out of D.C. for the coming rally.
Following Tarrio’s arrest, there are sure to be even more Patriots heading to the nation’s capital.