As DC Braces For Violence, Judge Orders Proud Boy Leader To Stay Out

WASHINGTON, DC - DECEMBER 12: Enrique Tarrio, leader of the Proud Boys (L) and Joe Biggs (R) gather outside of Harry's bar during a protest on December 12, 2020 in Washington, DC. Thousands of protesters who refuse t... WASHINGTON, DC - DECEMBER 12: Enrique Tarrio, leader of the Proud Boys (L) and Joe Biggs (R) gather outside of Harry's bar during a protest on December 12, 2020 in Washington, DC. Thousands of protesters who refuse to accept that President-elect Joe Biden won the election are rallying ahead of the electoral college vote to make Trump's 306-to-232 loss official. (Photo by Stephanie Keith/Getty Images) MORE LESS
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January 5, 2021 3:38 p.m.

A Washington, D.C. judge ordered Proud Boys leader Enrique Tarrio to stay out of the city on Tuesday just ahead of a massive pro-Trump protest in which the right-wing street gang and other extremist groups are expected to swarm the nation’s capitol.

D.C. Superior Court Magistrate Judge Renee Raymond allowed Tarrio’s release Tuesday afternoon, but warned he could be arrested on-sight if he was spotted at the pro-Trump demonstrations.

Also on Tuesday, prosecutors released a photo of the two monogrammed high-capacity rifle magazines Tarrio allegedly possessed when he was arrested Monday.

The Proud Boys leader faces two felony counts of possession of a large capacity ammunition feeding device for the magazines he was allegedly carrying in his personal bookbag. Police noted the magazines were unloaded.

Tarrio’s arrest was a blow to the Proud Boys as the group — along with other militias, extremists, and regular old Trump dead-enders — descended on the nation’s capital for a planned protest Wednesday of the President’s loss.

Tarrio was initially arrested on suspicion of destruction of property, a result of the burning of a Black Lives Matter banner that had been hanging from a historically Black D.C. church during the last pro-Trump protest in D.C. — until the Proud Boys ripped the banner and set it on fire.

Though Tarrio publicly claimed credit for burning the banner, the affidavit in support of his arrest notes that a group of Proud Boys allegedly did the deed. Another historically black Church’s banner was also burned during the last pro-Trump protest, on Dec. 12, for which Tarrio and other unidentified Proud Boys now face a civil suit from the church.

The Proud Boys have raged online about the arrest of their leader, complaining about perceived police leniency toward left-wing protesters and setting up a fundraiser for Tarrio that by Tuesday had passed $95,000.

According to police records filed in court, Tarrio said the magazines were originally purchased by another person off of a web store he operates, but they were returned due to a wrong address.

“And I contacted him, and he’s like, ‘I’m going to be in DC,’ so I’m like, ‘Okay, I’ll take them to you,'” Tarrio allegedly told police. “Just so you guys won’t be like, ‘holy fuck’…. I can give you, like my invoices and stuff like that from it, and, like, the USPS shipping label.”

A contingent of Proud Boys is expected in the capital despite Tarrio’s arrest. One of them, Joe Biggs, commented on the social media website Parler recently that “2021 is the year we mind fuck and physically beat the shit out of antifa. Just wait.”

The group recently clashed with police in Salem, Oregon, where several people were arrested.

Cassie Miller, a senior research analyst at the Southern Poverty Law Center, told TPM that the group is increasingly at odds with law enforcement, in addition to its more familiar antagonists, left-wing antifascists.

“That means the Proud Boys might try to engage in aggressive confrontations with law enforcement in addition to antifascists,” she said.

With Wednesday’s scheduled protests and the looming certification of Joe Biden’s electoral victory, Miller said, “the stakes are high for those trying to dispute the outcome of the election.”

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