For over a month, the Washington D.C. area has been induduated with protests from angry Trump supporters who are outraged over his loss in the 2020 election. Many of these protests have included violence and destruction of property. And now, after heeding Trump’s call for supporters to gather in Washington this week ahead of the electoral college certification on January 6, a Proud Boys leader has been arrested.
Henry “Enrique” Tarrio, who is from Miami and identifies as a first-generation Cuban immigrant, has been arrested after allegedly burning a Black Lives Matter banner taken from a Black church on Dec. 12. That same day, two Black churches in Washington D.C., whose histories stretch back to the pre-Civil War era, were also vandalized.
DC Metropolitan Police Department Public Information Officer Sean Hickman told CNN, “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 also added, “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.”
Tarrio took responsibility for burning the sign on social media, writing, “Come get me if you feel like what I did was wrong. We’ll let the public decide.”
Foundd in 2016, The Proud Boys have gained a reputation over the past few years as a group of violent misogynist, racist, anti-semitic, islamophobic bullies who have been involved in conflicts at a number of social and political events across the country. They are classified by the FBI as an extremist group and many progressive organizations label them as a hate group.
The Proud Boys claim to have chapters in the U.K., Norway, Canada and Australia, according to Quartz.com. On their website, they also say they have a presence in places as far as Israel, China and Japan.
Trump’s supporters are planning to rally today (Jan. 5) and Wednesday (Jan. 6), which is when the electoral college will be certified. According to the Associated Press, Mayor Muriel Bowser has requested National Guard deployment to help the Metropolitan Police Department.