Jan 5, 2021 - Politics & Policy

Leader of far-right Proud Boys arrested in D.C. ahead of "March for Trump"

Photo of Enrique Tarrio walking on a street with a Trump banner waving behind him
Proud Boys leader Enrique Tarrio (front). Photo: Elijah Nouvelage via Getty

The leader of the far-right Proud Boys was arrested in Washington, D.C., on Monday and charged with destruction of property, police said, ahead of planned protests against the congressional certification of the 2020 election results, scheduled for Wednesday.

Driving the news: Enrique Tarrio, chairman of the Proud Boys, told the Washington Post in December that he participated in the burning of a Black Lives Matter banner that had been taken from a historic Black church during protests last month in the nation's capital.

  • Police also found Tarrio in possession of two high capacity firearm magazines upon his arrest Monday, resulting in additional charges, the Metropolitan Police Department (MPD) said.

What to watch: Tarrio’s presence was expected at the March for Trump slated for Tuesday and Wednesday. It is unclear if or when Tarrio will be released.

  • Tarrio has said on the social media app, Parler, that the Proud Boys would “turn out in record numbers on Jan 6th.” They will not wear their typical black and gold garb, but instead "spread" across downtown D.C. "incognito," he said, per the New York Times.
  • Trump himself has encouraged supporters to show up to the protests.

The big picture: Washington, D.C., Mayor Muriel Bowser has activated the National Guard for the march and urged residents to avoid the downtown area.

  • She pointed to the violence that ensued during the mid-December march where several people were stabbed.

Of note: The Metropolitan African Methodist Episcopal Church filed a lawsuit Monday against Tarrio and the Proud Boys for "engaging in acts of terror and vandalizing church property in an effort to intimidate the Church and silence its support for racial justice" during the mid-December protests.

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