Proud Boys Leader Henry Tarrio—known as Enrique—has been sentenced to more than five months in jail after burning a Black Lives Matter banner that was taken from a historic Black church during a pro-Trump demonstration.
Tarrio, 37, was arrested on Jan. 4 in Washington on a warrant over the Dec. 12 incident, where he burned the Asbury United Methodist Church’s flag. He also pleaded guilty to another misdemeanor, attempting to possess a high-capacity gun magazine, and later apologized for his actions, saying he made a “grave mistake.”
“What I did was wrong,” Tarrio said during a videoconference, as the Associated Press reports.
Authorities shared that Proud Boys members stole the “#BLACKLIVESMATTER” banner from the church, before using lighter fluid to set it on fire. Tarrio posted a picture of himself on Parler holding a lighter before telling The Washington Post that he participated in the burning of the flag.
“His careless act of violence and hatred, targeted at a congregation of individuals with a lived history of social and racial injustice, had the presumably desired effect,” Rev. Dr. Ianther Mills, senior pastor of the church, said. “Asbury was forced to reckon with the very tangible evidence that we continue to live in a world where people radicalize hate based upon race and skin color.”
Last month, Tarrio pleaded guilty to destruction of property and attempted possession of a large-capacity ammunition feeding device, after two unloaded magazines were found in his bag after officers pulled him over with the warrant.
Two days after Tarrio was arrested, the riot at the U.S. Capitol took place, where the Proud Boys have since been looked at by investigators in relation to the Jan. 6 attack. Roughly three dozen of the 600 people charged in the insurrection were identified by federal authorities as Proud Boys leaders, members, or associates, according to the AP.