UPDATED: 3:15 p.m. ET, Jan. 5, 2020 —
Less than 24 hours after he was apprehended while in possession of two weapons, Proud Boys leader Enrique Tarrio was released on Tuesday at the order of a D.C. Superior Court judge. As part of his release, he is barred from Washington D.C. until his next hearing in June.
According to WTOP, Tarrio, a 36-year-old Miami native, plead not guilty to three counts: destruction of property and two felony weapons charges. Tarrio openly admitted to defacing a Black Lives Matter sign taken from Asbury United Methodist, a historically Black church, on Dec. 12.
Tarrio’s banishment from the District is a likely morale blow held by the thousands of white supremacists who are expected to visit the city on Jan. 6 to protest the election results.
Enrique Tarrio, the racist, emboldened leader of the white supremacist group the Proud Boys hate group, was arrested in Washington D.C. on Monday for the vandalization of pair of prominent Black churches in D.C. last month.
Tarrio, 36, was taken into custody after arriving in the nation’s capital ahead of Wednesday’s Proud Boys rally to protest the election results. He was arrested on suspicion of burning a Black Lives Matter banner torn from the Asbury United Methodist Church on Dec. 12 and was in possession of two high powered firearm magazines when he was taken into custody.
Another place of worship, Metropolitan A.M.E Church, was also vandalized when Proud Boys members again tore down a Black Lives Matter sign the same night.
Days after the attacks, Tarrio brazenly admitted to defacing the church’s property in an interview with The Washington Post. He confessed that at least four churches were vandalized.
The arrest occurred hours after the Metropolitan A.M.E. Church in conjunction with the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law filed a lawsuit in the Washington D.C. superior court. The suit names Tarrio, Proud Boys International LLC, and a number of “John Does” who participated in the attack.
The suit seeks to hold the Proud Boys accountable under D.C.’s hate crime statute and accuses the named parties of trespassing and conversion. It also includes a federal claim under the Freedom of Access to Clinic Entrances Act, which prohibits intentionally damaging or destroying the property of a place of religious worship.
“White supremacists will not dictate the terms of our worship, our theology or our stride and commitment to the liberation of humankind from violence, from oppression or exploitation, said Metropolitan A.M.E. Church’s pastor William H. Lamar IV during a Monday press call regarding the lawsuit.
“We will not allow white supremacists’ violence to go unchecked by the laws of the land,” he continued.
“We know that black churches have long played a central role in organizing for racial justice. They’re often at the heart of Black community organizing. And unfortunately, Black churches and other houses of worship have been subjected to a long and ugly history of attacks at the hands of white supremacists,” said Kristen Clarke, president of the Lawyers’ Committee.