A judge sentenced Miami native Henry “Enrique” Tarrio, a leader of the far-right group Proud Boys, to five months in prison for torching a Black Lives Matter banner. Tarrio was sentenced to 90 days for the destruction of property, and 150 days for an ammunition offense, but the judge suspended all but 150 days on the condition he completes three years of probation.
Tarrio also has to pay$1,000 in fines and a $347 restitution for damage to the church
According to the U.S. Department of Justice, on Dec, 12th 2020, Tarrio and a group affiliated with the “Proud Boys,” stole a “Black Lives Matter” banner from the predominately black Asbury United Methodist Church. The group walked south and took the banner to the intersection of 11th and E Street NW. With a lighter and lighter fluid, Tarrio and the group set the banner ablaze. They then posted pictures of the flag burning on social media sites like Parler. A warrant was issued for his arrest and on Jan 4th, 2021 Tarrio returned to Washington, DC to turn himself in, and was arrested for destruction of property. Once police had him in custody they found two high-capacity firearm magazines, with “Proud Boys” etched on the sides of each. He was given a second charge for the ammunition. Tarrio pleaded guilty to both charges and has expressed remorse for his actions. He did deny knowing the Black Lives Matter banner came from the church, even though he is seen standing next to the church in a video taken the day of the incident
Tarrio is well a known leader of the “Proud Boys” and was frequently seen on social media leading many “stop the steal” rallies. He also led a Rally outside of U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio’s home six days before the January 6th attack on the Capitol.
The Proud Boys are a group of young, right-wing men who claim to be “western chauvinists.”
“Proud boy” is a term used by both members and critics of the self-described alt-right, Trump supporters who describe themselves as anti-political correctness. Proud boys proudly show their disdain for minority social justice groups like Black Lives Matter and The “Me Too” movement. Proud Boys praises President Donald Trump and rejects the idea that they are racist.
Proud Boys say the purpose of their organization is to defend “the tradition of western enlightenment,” and restore white European Judeo-Christian values. Proud Boys have also been associated with violence at several protests and rallies throughout the country. During the summer of 2020, they frequently attended Black Lives Matter rallies to antagonize and threaten its members.
About 36 people identified as leaders, members, or associates of the Proud Boys have been charged in the Capitol attack. Four group members have also been charged with conspiring to impede the certification of President Joe Biden.
Tarrio also led another life as an FBI informant. According to a report by Reuters, Tarrio worked as an informant for federal and local law enforcement from 2012 to 2014. According to court documents he cooperated with law enforcement and aided in the prosecution in several criminal drug enterprises ranging from marijuana grow houses to pharmaceutical fraud schemes. Tarrio will begin his sentence the week of October 6th.