May 8, 2021 00:11

Proud Boys Leader Charged With Burning BLM Banner

The leader of the far-right Proud Boys was arrested  in Washington, D.C., and charged in connection with unrest amid pro-Trump protests in the capital last month, the Wall Street Journal reports. Enrique Tarrio, 36, was charged with destruction of property related to the burning of a Black Lives Matter banner belonging to a historic Black church. Police also charged him with possession of two “high-capacity firearm magazines.” A social-media account for the Proud Boys said the group had started a legal-defense fund for him. Tarrio told the Washington Post last month he participated in burning a Black Lives Matter banner that had been ripped from the Asbury United Methodist Church, a historic Black church. He said he would plead guilty to destruction of property, and pay the church for the banner.

The night of the burning, brawls broke out between demonstrators and counterprotesters. Several people, including eight police officers, were hurt. Civil-rights groups filed a lawsuit against Tarrio and Proud Boys International LLC over vandalism they say the group committed at another Black church. “I love a good fight,” Tarrio said on a social-media post about the lawsuit Monday. The Proud Boys describes itself as a men’s organization for “Western chauvinists” and often fights left-wing activists. Fresh pro-Trump protests are expected in Washington on Tuesday and Wednesday to support the president’s claims the election was stolen from him. Tarrio had said he planned to attend, as have his group’s members.

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