Proud Boys leader Enrique Tarrio was arrested in Washington, DC, Monday on a misdemeanor count for burning a Black Lives Matter (BLM) flag last month.
On December 12, members of the extremist group burned at least one BLM flag hung at Asbury United Methodist Church, a historically Black church located in the northwest section of the city. Right-wing protesters took to city streets last month to challenge the outcome of the 2020 presidential election. According to authorities, demonstrators destroyed property at three other churches. Southern Poverty Law Center, an organization that monitors hate crimes and extremism, has designated the Proud Boys as a hate group.
Upon a search incident to the lawful arrest, DC police found high-capacity ammunition feeding devices on Tarrio and subsequently also charged him with two felony counts.
Also on Monday Asbury United Methodist Church filed a civil complaint in DC Superior Court against the Proud Boys organization and Tarrio for “engaging in acts of terror and vandalizing church property in an effort to intimidate the church and silence its support for racial justice.” According to the complaint, “The conduct of the Proud Boys in Washington DC on December 12, 2020 amounted to a new and dangerous chapter in the long and terrible history of white supremacist mob violence targeting Black houses of worship.”
The Proud Boys plan to hold demonstrations in the nation’s capital on Tuesday and Wednesday. In anticipation, city officials announced that they will deploy the Army National Guard to support the efforts of local law enforcement.