Proud Boys chief Enrique Tarrio was sentenced to greater than 5 months in jail for burning a Black Lives Matter banner stolen from a historic black church in Washington, the place he was arrested with high-capacity firearm magazines earlier than January’s Capitol riot.
Tarrio, 37, of Miami, was sentenced Monday after pleading responsible in July to torching the BLM banner stolen by unidentified members of the far-right extremist group from the Asbury United Methodist Church on Dec. 12.
The group burned the banner after dousing it in lighter fluid and Tarrio posted a photograph to his Parler social media account displaying himself holding an unlit lighter inches away from ignited lighters in two different folks’s palms, Division of Justice officers mentioned.
Tarrio admitted to the destruction of property cost in a December interview with the Washington Submit, saying “Let me make this straightforward. I did it.”
Tarrio was additionally charged with bringing two high-capacity firearm magazines into Washington simply two days earlier than the Jan. 6 riot. Authorities discovered the magazines – which had the Proud Boys insignia on them – when he was arrested in D.C. on the destruction of property cost.
“In an interview with police, Tarrio advised detectives he meant to switch the magazines to a buyer who was additionally going to be current within the District of Columbia,” federal prosecutors mentioned in an announcement.
A choose sentenced Tarrio to 90 days in jail on the destruction of property cost and 150 days for the ammunition offense, however suspended all however 155 days on the situation that he efficiently full three years of probation. He was additionally ordered to pay $1,000 in fines and $347 in restitution to the church.
Tarrio has led the Proud Boys since 2018, CNN reported. He apologized on to the church’s pastor Monday, saying he made a “grave mistake” by burning it and later boasting about it in information studies and social media.
The church’s senior pastor, Rev. Dr. Ianther Mills, mentioned Tarrio was main a “marauding band of offended white males” when the banner was stolen and burned — a transparent act of “intimidation and racism.”
However Tarrio mentioned his actions have brought on him to endure each financially and socially.
“My household’s enterprise has been hit fairly laborious,” Tarrio advised the choose, CNN reported. “So, what I did doesn’t solely have an effect on the church. It impacts much more folks, together with my household.”
Decide Harold Cushenberry Jr., in the meantime, dismissed Tarrio’s declare that he was unaware he was destroying church property as a “bald, self-serving assertion,” based on CNN.
“He cared about himself and self-promotion,” the choose continued. “His declare of ‘harmless mistake’ just isn’t credible in any respect.”
Tarrio, who is predicted to begin serving his sentence on Sept. 6, criticized Cushenberry after Monday’s continuing, alleging the choose “already had his thoughts made up” previous to sentencing.
“If I’d have identified it will have occurred like this, I’d have gone to trial,” Tarrio advised CNN. “I discovered from this expertise. If anybody thinks placing me in chains, silencing me, dehumanizing me will hold me quiet, they’re mistaken.”
Tarrio vowed to “use his voice” much more in coming days.
“Even the individuals who disagree with me, like Black Lives Matter, see the injustice within the justice system and I hope they sustain the combat as a result of I certain as hell will,” Tarrio mentioned.