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Proud Boys leader arrested on charge related to December pro-Trump protests

Washington, D.C., police on Monday arrested the leader of the far-right Proud Boys, Enrique Tarrio, on a destruction of property charge related to the pro-President TrumpDonald TrumpRomney: 'Pretty sure' Trump would win 2024 GOP nomination if he ran for president Pence huddles with senior members of Republican Study Committee Trump says 'no doubt' Tiger Woods will be back after accident MORE protests last month. 

Metropolitan Police Department (MPD) officers took the 36-year-old Proud Boys chairman into custody after he entered the city over an arrest warrant for the charge from the Dec. 12 incident. 

Tarrio, who is from Miami, is believed to have been coming from the airport after arriving for the pro-Trump demonstrations scheduled this week to oppose the expected congressional certification of the election results. 

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During his arrest, Tarrio was found to be in possession of two high-capacity firearm magazines, prompting him also to be charged with possessing a high-capacity feeding device, police said.

Tarrio was among those who burned a Black Lives Matter banner that was taken down from Asbury United Methodist, a historic Black church, last month, he previously told The Washington Post, saying he would plead guilty to any destruction of property charges. 

Under the misdemeanor charge, Tarrio could face up to 180 days in jail and a $1,000 fine. 

Protesters also took down a sign with the same phrase from the Metropolitan African Methodist Episcopal Church.

At the time, police said they would investigate the vandalism as potential hate crimes. MPD spokesperson Dustin Sternbeck told the Post on Monday that prosecutors would determine whether to file hate charges. 

Tarrio had previously told the Post he would not admit to committing a hate crime, saying he and other Proud Boys members did not target the church because it has a predominantly Black congregation. Instead, he said, he was protesting the Black Lives Matter movement that “has terrorized the citizens of this country.”

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The Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under the Law announced it filed a lawsuit against the Proud Boys and Tarrio over the destruction of the Black Lives Matter sign from the Metropolitan African Methodist Episcopal Church. 

The president has called on his supporters in several tweets to gather in D.C. this week for “wild” protests to support the challenges of the Electoral College in Congress. 

Tarrio has posted on far-right message boards and conservative social media platform Parler that the Proud Boys plan to “turn out in record numbers” this week but remain “incognito” by splitting into smaller groups.