Proud Boys Leader Enrique Tarrio Arrested Leaving D.C. Area Airport on Way to Stop the Steal Rallies

Proud Boys Leader Enrique Tarrio was arrested Monday evening as he was being driven from a D.C. area airport for allegedly burning a stolen Black Lives Matter banner taken from a historic Black Washington, D.C. church last month after a day of pro-Trump rallies. Tarrio admitted to burning the banner in an online post and in several media interviews at the time.

UPDATE: The Washington Post reports Tarrio was also charged with possessing two gun magazines.

New York Times confirms, “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.”

Excerpt from the New York Times:

The leader of the Proud Boys, the far-right group that has vocally supported President Trump’s efforts to overturn the election results, was arrested on Monday on charges of destruction of property after he arrived in Washington to protest the congressional certification of the election later this week, according to a person familiar with the matter.

Enrique Tarrio, the chairman of the Proud Boys, was arrested by Metropolitan Police on suspicion of burning a Black Lives Matter banner torn from a historic Black church in Washington during protests last month that led to several violent clashes, including stabbings, around the city.

The arrest also pits the Justice Department against some of Mr. Trump’s most ardent supporters; the U.S. attorney’s office in Washington acts as the main prosecutor’s office for the District of Columbia…

Tarrio was apparently arrested by police as he was conducting a phone interview with USA Today reporter Will Carless, “I was just interviewing Proud Boys chairman Enrique Tarrio by phone. While we were on the call, sirens started blaring in the background. He told his driver to pull over. Said “They’re for me,” then “Here’s something to write about.” He *may have been arrested.”

Matt Couch followed up, “Leader of the Proud Boys and my friend Enrique Tarrio is being arrested for a misdemeanor in Washington, D.C. as he just landed at the airport. They are arresting him for taking the fall for the burning of the Black Lives Matter Banner at the last event. Per Joe Biggs on phone.”

Excerpt via WAMU.org on Tarrio admitting to burning the BLM banner:

…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.

D.C. Attorney General Karl Racine sent a letter to the U.S. Attorney for the District, Michael Sherwin, urging that the destruction of the banners be prosecuted as a hate crime…

End excerpt. Please read the complete report at WAMU

Earlier Monday, Tarrio and the Proud Boys were sued by one of the Black churches whose banners were stolen and burned last month, “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.”

The post Proud Boys Leader Enrique Tarrio Arrested Leaving D.C. Area Airport on Way to Stop the Steal Rallies appeared first on The Gateway Pundit.

Share DeepPol