Leader of the "Proud Boys" is arrested in Washington
Enrique Tarrio, a leader of the far-right Proud Boys movement, was arrested Monday in Washington as he planned to participate in Wednesday's protest to support President Donald Trump.
Enrique Tarrio, leader of the all-male neo-fascist group, drove from Miami to the U.S. capital to participate in a protest called by several Trump supporters groups on the same day Congress meets for the final tallying of the Electoral College votes from the November general election.
The count will confirm Democrat Joe Biden's victory.
According to police sources, Tarrio was detained upon his arrival in Washington by authorities on charges of destruction of property, a misdemeanor, and two other charges of possession of firearms with extra bullet capacity.
On Dec. 12, the leader of Proud Boys burned a flag of the "Black Live Matters" movement that he had taken from the emblematic Asbury United Methodist Church in D.C.
Tarrio, who is also the Florida state director of the organization Latinos for Trump, accepted the charge in December in an interview with the Washington Post.
"I did it," Tarrio said, adding that he planned to plead guilty and pay the church for the banner if he faced charges,
The connection between Tarrio and the Proud Boys with white supremacist groups is undeniable, although when asked, the leader often balks at the question.
Authorities do not rule out accusing him of hate crimes, however, Tarrio denies that his actions were motivated by racism against the African-American community. He claims that the BLM movement has "terrorized the country" amid 2020 protests against police abuse and brutality.
Tarrio, who identifies himself as Afro-Cuban, perhaps strategically to disassociate himself from white supremacist groups, owns a T-shirt store and sells other merchandise the far-right uses as a provocation. In the name of "freedom of expression," he sells products with messages like: "Pinochet did nothing wrong," and makes clear his position on human rights and lack of sensitivity to those affected.