UPDATED 1/5, 5:24 p.m. ET: Proud Boys leader Enrique Tarrio has been banned from entering Washington DC, per Forbes. If he shows up to Wednesday's protest, he'll be arrested.
UPDATED 1/4, 6:41 p.m. ET: Proud Boys leader Enrique Tarrio, who's 36, has been arrested on destruction of property charges by Metropolitan Police, the New York Times reports. He was also hit with additional charges for being in "Possession of High Capacity Feeding Device," according to USA Today. News of Tarrio's arrest comes on the heels of the far-right group being sued by Metropolitan African Methodist Episcopal.
See original story below.
In mid-December, people watched in horror as a large crowd of pro-Trump, racist members of the Proud Boys gathered in the DC metropolitan area and attacked several churches that supported the Black Lives Matter movement.
One of the institutions targeted, Metropolitan African Methodist Episcopal (also known as AME), is now suing the far-right, neo-fascist organization and one of its founders, Enrique Tarrio, with the help of civil rights attorneys from the Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights Under Law.
"We are suing the Proud Boys and their members for the racist attack on Metropolitan AME church in Washington DC. This attack was one of several levied against churches targeted for their support of the Black Lives Matter movement," tweeted the committee's president, Kristen Clarke, on Monday. "The Proud Boys are NOT above the law."
As the lawsuit points out, AME is a historically Black church and one of the oldest churches in DC, built in 1886. The suit alleges that unidentified members of the male-only political mob hopped a fence to get onto the church’s property and rip down a sign supporting the Black Lives Matter movement, citing "trespass, theft, and destruction of property."
AME was one of several churches, including the historically-Black church Asbury United Methodist Church, that was targeted for their support of the BLM movement. At the time, various videos of the Proud Boys vandalizing the signs circulated online.
"Last night demonstrators who were part of the MAGA gatherings tore down our Black Lives Matter sign and literally burned it in the street," Asbury Rev. Ianther Mills said in December, as The Hill points out. "Seeing this act on video made me both indignant and determined to fight the evil that has reared its ugly head. We had been so confident that no one would ever vandalize the church, but it has happened."
In response to the attacks on his church, AME Rev. William H. Lamar IV wrote an op-ed for the Washington Post where he criticized the United States at large for its capitalist and imperialist foundations that created and continue to fuel racist violence in the country.
"Those who ripped down our sign — whether they are aware of it or not — suffer from kleptocratic, crony capitalism in the United States. What they really want is a new narrative and a new politics," he wrote.