Henry “Enrique” Tarrio, the leader of the Proud Boys extremist group, has been sentenced to more than five months in jail for burning a Black Lives Matter flag that was stolen from a historic Black church last year.
According to NBC News, Tarrio was arrested back in January after a warrant was issued for the December incident where he and other Proud Boys held a pro-Trump rally in Washington D.C. He later admitted to burning a BLM banner that belonged to Asbury United Methodist Church, one of the oldest Black churches in D.C.
Tarrio also pleaded guilty to attempting to possess a high-capacity gun magazine, which is prohibited in D.C. Both charges were misdemeanors and punishable to up to six months in jail.
Prosecutors wanted him to spend 90 days in jail followed by three months of probation. They also wanted the judge to issue an order forbidding him to return to D.C. Prosecutors said his actions “had profound emotional and psychological effect upon the church and its members.” They also said that Tarrio bragged about burning the flag on social media, saying, “I’m damn proud I did it!”
Rev. Dr. Ianther Mills, a senior pastor at the church, spoke ahead of Tarrio’s sentencing on Monday (Aug. 23). He called Tarrio’s behavior “an act of intimidation and racism” and said he used the incident as “a trophy on social media.”
Tarrio issued an apology for his actions to the judge on Monday, saying that he made “a grave mistake” by burning the flag. “I profoundly apologize. I didn’t see the consequences of what I did,” he said.
However, Superior Court Judge Harold Cushenberg said Tarrio “did not credibly express genuine remorse” and sentenced him to a total of 155 days behind bars. He has to surrender to the Washington, D.C. jail on Sep. 6.