With racial unrest taking place across the United States amid the social justice movements, The Proud Boys have risen among hate groups wreaking havoc. According to CNN, the leader of Proud Boys, Enrique Tarrio, was arrested in Washington, D.C., on Jan. 4.
In December 2020, BLACK ENTERPRISE reported that Black Lives Matter signs outside of several historic Black churches in Washington D.C. were burned and destroyed during a pro-Trump rally. When Tarrio appeared on a “WarBoys” podcast interview that month, he took responsibility and stated he was “the person that went ahead and put the lighter to it and engulfed it in flames. “I’m damn proud I did,” he said.
He also wrote in a post on the Parler website that “against the wishes of my attorney I am here today to admit that I am the person responsible for the burning of this sign.” Tarrio also dared police officers to arrest him, writing: “Come get me if you feel like what I did was wrong. We’ll let the public decide.”
An official from the D.C. Metropolitan Police Department, Public Information Officer Sean Hickman, stated that Tarrio, who hails from Miami, was charged with destruction of property related to a banner being burned on December 12, outside a Black church in northwest D.C.
“He was charged with Destruction of Property related to an offense that occurred on Saturday, December 12, 2020 in the 900 block of 11th Street, Northwest,” Hickman said. “At the time of his arrest, he was found to be in possession of two high capacity firearm magazines. He was additionally charged with Possession of High Capacity Feeding Device.”
Another Black church, Metropolitan African Methodist Episcopal Church, also had a Black Lives Matter sign taken as well. They’ve recently filed a lawsuit against Tarrio for the destruction of the banner on Jan. 4.