Enrique Tarrio, the chairman of the Proud Boys, was arrested for destroying a ‘Black Lives Matter’ sign that was posted outside of the historic Asbury United Methodist Church in Washington D.C. during a pro-Donald Trump rally on December 12. According to NBC News, Tarrio was detained during a traffic stop in Washington, D.C, and had two high-capacity magazines in his possession. He is facing charges for suspicion of destruction of property and gun charges.
The Proud Boys is a far-right, neo-fascist and male-only political organization that promotes and engages in political violence in the United States and Canada.
Tarrio is also being accused of destroying property at another church in Washington D.C. during the same rally on December 12. In a complaint, Metropolitan African Methodist Episcopal Church says that Tarrio and other Proud Boy members “engaged in acts of terrorism and vandalized the church’s property to intimidate the church and silence its support for justice.”
A video is circulating the internet that shows several men destroying the sign in front of the church. Last month, Tarrio took responsibility for burning a sign.
“I was the one that lit it on fire,” Tarrio told DCist/WAMU. In a podcast, Tarrio said he burned the sign because it represents a racist movement.
His arrest comes as President Trump is calling for people to protest when Congress meets to certify the electoral votes on Wednesday, which Trump claims was rigged. Mayor Muriel Bowser is telling residents to stay away from downtown D.C. to avoid confrontations with protesters who will be in the city.