On January 4, Henry “Enrique” Tario was arrested for burning a Black Lives Matter banner during the “Stop the Steal” rally on December 12th. Tarrio is the chairman of the alt-right extremist organization the Proud Boys.
Tarrio, 36, burned the banner after it was taken from Asbury United Methodist Church, one of the oldest Black churches in Washington D.C.
He admitted to the act in a post he made on a site called Parler, a platform known having a sizeable user base that supports President Trump.
In the post he wrote, “against the wishes of my attorney I am here today to admit that I am the person responsible for the burning of this sign.” He then went on to challenge police to arrest him, adding, “Come get me if you feel like what I did was wrong. We’ll let the public decide.”
According to CNN, DC Metropolitan Police Department Public Information Officer Sean Hickman says Tarrio was also charged with possession of firearm magazines. “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,” he said.
Although Tarrio declined to speak to media following his arrest, he told the podcast WarBoys that he was “damn proud” he burned the banner.
In addition to his arrest and firearm charges, Tarrio has also been sued by the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law in Washington, D.C. Superior Court. The lawsuit cites multiple threatening and violent messages posted to social media by the Proud Boys before the December rally, which they claim incited violence and led to the burning that occurred that day.
Metropolitan African Methodist Episcopal has also filed a complaint in D.C. Superior Court separately, claiming Tarrio and other members of the Proud Boys were “engaging in acts of terror and vandalizing church property in an effort to intimidate the Church and silence its support for racial justice.”
The city is expecting at least 3 alt-right rallies between January 5-6.
Complaints filed against the Proud Boys have led Washington’s Mayor Muriel Bowser to warn residents to avoid downtown. He is also considering enforcing a curfew in advance.
Though the Proud Boys have “ties to white nationalism” according to the FBI, Tarrio identifies as Afro-Cuban.