Proud Boys leader arrested for destroying churches' Black Lives Matter signs

by Peter Heck · Jan 5th, 2021 10:33 am

Last Updated Jan 5th, 2021 at 7:25 pm

Enrique Tarrio, leader of the far-right political group known as the Proud Boys, was arrested Monday on charges of destroying a Black Lives Matter sign that was displayed at an historic black church in Washington, D.C.

Asbury United Methodist Church reported last month that its Black Lives Matter sign had been torn down and set on fire. The activist was taken into custody by D.C. police after entering the city for what is expected to be several days of pro-Trump demonstrations protesting the certification of Joe Biden's Electoral College victory.

The 36-year-old Tarrio, who is from Miami, was found to be in possession of two firearm magazines, which led to a second charge of possessing a high-capacity feeding device.

Also on Monday, a second historic black church, the Metropolitan African Methodist Episcopal Church, brought a lawsuit against Tarrio and the Proud Boys organization for the destruction of its own Black Lives Matter sign. The two incidents reportedly took place at the same pro-Trump rally.

In the lawsuit, the Metropolitan AME Church said Tarrio and the Proud Boys were guilty of intimidation.

"[Defendants were] engaging in acts of terror and vandalizing church property in an effort to intimidate the Church and silence its support for racial justice," the church's complaint reads.

The Proud Boys organization regularly clashes with the Black Lives Matter movement, and Tarrio admitted to local news outlets last month that he was responsible for burning the signs.

If found guilty, Tarrio could face a hefty fine and jail time.


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