A leader of the far-right group, the Proud Boys, Enrique Tarrio was arrested and accused of destroying a Black Lives Matter sign at a historically black Washington DC church.
Tarrio, chairman of the far-right, all-male self-described group of “Western chauvinists,” was taken into custody on suspicion of destruction of property after the incident during a pro-Trump rally Dec. 12 in downtown Washington, police said in a statement, according to NBC News.
A widely circulated video shows a group of people destroying the sign in front of Asbury United Methodist Church, which will serve as evidence to the church’s claim that a Black Lives Matter sign was removed from its building and set on fire.
Tarrio, 36, who lives in Miami, was arrested upon entering the city Monday and found to have two high-capacity magazines, police said. He faces an additional gun charge, police said. In a complaint filed at DC’s Superior Court, the church accused Tarrio of “engaging in acts of terror and vandalizing church property in an effort to intimidate the Church and silence its support for racial justice.” Eight other members of the Proud Boys have been named in the suit as well.
conspiracy theorist Alex Jones and former Trump national security adviser Michael Flynn were in town on the night of the 12th to attend a far-right event which preceded the vandalism.
In the suit, attorneys for the church alleged that five to eight members of the group leaped over its iron fence, broke the zip ties that held the plastic Black Lives Matter sign in place and joined “in the celebration of the sign’s destruction.”
Asbury United Methodist Church was founded in 1872 and hosted the legendary abolitionist leader Frederick Douglass’ 1895 funeral.