Proud Boys Leader Enrique Tarrio Arrested and Released

Published on January 5, 2021

Enrique Tarrio, the controversial leader of the far-right group the Proud Boys was arrested on Monday night for allegedly burning a Black Lives Matter flag last month, as well as felony weapons charges. The flag, which was hanging outside of a Black church in Washington, D.C., was allegedly torched by Tarrio during a demonstration in protest of Joe Biden’s Presidential win.

A D.C. judge released Tarrio on Tuesday morning while he awaits trial, but he was allegedly ordered to leave the area as tensions rise this week over the certification of Joe Biden’s win. President Trump, along with some of his biggest supporters, have spent weeks organizing on apps like Twitter and Parler to encourage supporters to gather in Washington, D.C. throughout January.

Rallies planned throughout this week and into Inauguration Day have triggered deployment of the National Guard into the D.C. area. Tarrio, who posted on Parler that the Proud Boys would “turn out in record numbers on January 6th.” Pro-Trump demonstrations have occurred in the area since Election Day, when Tarrio and another pro-Trump influencer were stabbed outside of a local bar.

The Proud Boys, a far-right militia group, have made headlines over the last couple of years for engaging in political violence throughout the United States. The group earned notoriety after a 2017 Unite the Right rally in Charlottesville got national attention.

Local news reported that Tarrio pleaded not guilty to the charges he was arrested for on Monday, but previous reports and social media posts that show Tarrio admitting to participating in the burning of the banner throughout the last month.

President-elect Biden’s win will be certified by Congress in Washington, D.C. Local authorities anticipate rising unrest over conspiracy theories that the election was rigged, theories that have only been fueled by Donald Trump’s unwillingness to admit defeat.

Julia Sachs is a former Managing Editor at Grit Daily. She covers technology, social media and disinformation. She is based in Utah and before the pandemic she liked to travel.

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