Judge Slaps Proud Boys Leader With Tougher Sentence Than Gov’t Wanted

MIAMI, FLORIDA - MAY 25: Enrique Tarrio (C), leader of the Proud Boys, uses a megaphone while counter-protesting people gathered at the Torch of Friendship to commemorate the one year anniversary of the killing of Ge... MIAMI, FLORIDA - MAY 25: Enrique Tarrio (C), leader of the Proud Boys, uses a megaphone while counter-protesting people gathered at the Torch of Friendship to commemorate the one year anniversary of the killing of George Floyd on May 25, 2021 in Miami, Florida. Mr. Tarrio lead a group to the area to express their support of police officers. Floyd's murder by Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin sparked global protest and continues to spur the Black Lives Matter movement. (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images) MORE LESS
August 23, 2021 4:10 p.m.

Proud Boys leader Enrique Tarrio was sentenced to five months in D.C. jail on Monday, more than federal prosecutors requested in the case.

FBI agents arrested Tarrio on Jan. 4 on a destruction of property charge related to his December 2020 burning of a Black Lives Matter banner from D.C.’s Asbury United Methodist Church.

Upon his arrest, federal agents discovered that Tarrio was carrying two high-capacity firearms magazines, leading to additional charges.

Two days after Tarrio’s arrest, members of the Proud Boys marched on the Capitol in an attempt to block Congress from certifying Joe Biden’s win in the election.

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Though Tarrio was barred from being in D.C. during the insurrection, D.C. Superior Court Judge Harold Cushenberry noted at sentencing that the Proud Boys leader had put out the call for members of the group to travel to the Capitol

“Mr Tarrio’s social posts show he encouraged others to travel to Capitol on January 6,” Cushenberry noted.

Tarrio apologized in the hearing to Judge Cushenberry and to the pastor of the church whose flag he burned, saying “there’s no excuse for what I did” while adding that he no longer carries a pocket knife.

“What I did was wrong,” the Proud Boys leader said, describing his decision to burn the BLM flag in the streets of D.C. as a “very, very big mistake.”

But Cushenberry said that Tarrio had failed to express real remorse, earning him a tougher sentence than what federal prosecutors had asked for.

“He cared about himself and self-promotion,” Cushenberry said. “Not the laws of D.C.”

Tarrio will serve 155 days in jail, and must report to D.C. authorities by Sept. 6.

Cushenberry sentenced Tarrio to 90 days for destruction of property from the flag-burning incident, and also slapped Tarrio with a 150 day sentence for illegally carrying a high-capacity ammo magazine in D.C. All but 155 days of the total sentence are suspended.

Before the sentencing, a Telegram channel associated with Tarrio posted Bible verses interspersed with expletive-laden messages reposted from an account named “Mike Honcho.”

After the sentencing, the channel broadcast the following message: “Take it to the chin.”

Tarrio pleaded guilty in July to a destruction of property charge and to a lesser charge related to possessing the magazine.

Rev. Dr. Ianther Mills, a pastor from Asbury United Methodist Church, compared Tarrio’s actions in a victim impact statement at the hearing to those of the KKK.

“Imagine, if you would please, a marauding band of seemingly angry white men moving about the city, apparently looking for trouble,” Mills said. “That group happens upon Asbury, a black church. They proceed to rip down and burn the church’s BLM banner on the street directly in front of Asbury.”

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