Enrique Tarrio, leader of the far-right Proud Boys group, has been arrested in Washington DC on suspicion of burning a Black Lives Matter flag.
According to the BBC, Tarrio now faces misdemeanor destruction of property charges. The flag was reportedly torn down from a historic Black church in downtown Washington last month.
The Proud Boys, led by Enrique Tarrio, arrested today in DC, have built a bridge between the Alt-Right + the Trump wing of the GOP. While they include men of color, their ideology is centered around white hegemony + patriarchy + celebrating violence against 'the Left.' A thread. pic.twitter.com/lM2Qj7a7wU
— It's Going Down (@IGD_News) January 5, 2021
Speaking to The Washington Post in December, Tarrio openly admitted that he did burn the flag:
“I’ll fly there on my own dime,” said Tarrio. “I have nothing to hide.”
He added: “So let me make this simple. I did it.”
The flag was taken from Asbury United Methodist, one of the oldest Black churches in the city.
Robert Mallett, chairman of the church council, also talked to the publication:
“We survived slavery, the backlash to reconstruction, Jim Crow, segregation, we worked through the Civil Rights movement, stood for the anti-apartheid movement — in which two of our pastors were arrested — and we are proud to support a movement that is trying to make the world understand that Black bodies matter as much as White bodies,” Mallet said. “That is back up and it’s going to stay up.”
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He added, “I don’t know what the person who perpetrated this crime is suggesting, but we are a church that believes in equality and justice, and while we will pray for him, our activism will remain.”