Proud Boys leader sentenced to 5 months in jail for burning banner, high-capacity rifle magazines

Proud Boys leader sentenced to 5 months in jail for burning banner, high-capacity rifle magazines
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A leader of the far-right extremist group Proud Boys was sentenced to five months in jail after he pleaded guilty to vandalizing a historically Black church in Washington, D.C, in December, the Department of Justice (DOJ) announced Monday.

Henry “Enrique” Tarrio, 37, of Miami, Fla., was sentenced after burning a Black Lives Matter banner torn down from a historic Black church. He also was charged with bringing two high-capacity firearm magazines into the district two days before the Jan. 6 riot.

Tarrio pleaded guilty last month to one count of destruction of property and one count of attempted possession of a large-capacity ammunition feeding device.

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Tarrio reportedly told the court that he was “profusely” sorry for his actions, adding that what he did "was wrong," according to The Associated Press.

In December, Proud Boys members, including Tarrio, tore the sign, which read "#BLACKLIVESMATTER," off Asbury United Methodist Church and set it ablaze. He posted a photo of him holding an unlit lighter to conservative social media platform Parler and later admitted to participating in the flag burning. 

A few weeks later, on Jan. 4, two days before the insurrection on the Capitol, Tarrio was pulled over by police for vandalizing the banner. Officers later discovered two unloaded magazines inscribed with the Proud Boys logo in his bag. Tarrio reportedly said that he sells the clips and the ones in the bag were purchased by a customer.

“His careless act of violence and hatred, targeted at the a congregation of individuals with a lived history of social and racial injustice, had the presumably desired effect,” Rev. Ianther Mills, senior pastor of the church, told the judge according to the AP. “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.”

Out of the 600 people charged in the Jan. 6 riot, about three dozen were identified as Proud Boy leaders, members or associates, the AP noted.