Proud Boys leader pleads guilty to burning church’s Black Lives Matter banner

The leader of the far-right militant group the Proud Boys admitted Monday that he burned a Black Lives Matter banner that was stolen from a D.C. church in December.

Enrique Tarrio also pleaded guilty in D.C. Superior Court on Monday to one count of attempting to possess a high-capacity ammunition magazine.

Each offense carries a maximum sentence of six months in prison and/or a $1,000 fine.

The banner was taken from Asbury United Methodist Church in Northwest, a historic African-American church. In a statement, federal prosecutors said Tarrio and other Proud Boys were near the church at the intersection of 11th and K streets when unidentified members of the group stole the banner. The group took it to 11th and E streets, where it was burned.

Tarrio admitted to burning the banner on social media and in comments to numerous media outlets.

D.C. police say the church was one of four that were vandalized on Dec. 12, when thousands of supporters of then-president Donald Trump came to the District to protest President Biden’s victory.

Shortly after returning to the D.C. area Jan. 4, the Miami resident was arrested in connection with that destruction-of-property charge, when police found two high-capacity magazines with the “Proud Boys” logo on them.

According to prosecutors, he told authorities that he intended to “transfer the magazines to a customer” in D.C., shortly before the Capitol insurrection.

Tarrio’s sentencing is scheduled for Aug. 23.

Jack Pointer

Jack Pointer contributes to WTOP.com when he's not working as the afternoon/evening radio writer. In a previous life, he helped edit The Dallas Morning News and Chicago Tribune.

Related Categories:

Local News | Washington, DC News

Like WTOP on Facebook and follow @WTOP on Twitter to engage in conversation about this article and others.

Get breaking news and daily headlines delivered to your email inbox by signing up here.

© 2021 WTOP. All Rights Reserved. This website is not intended for users located within the European Economic Area.

More from WTOP

Log in to your WTOP account for notifications and alerts customized for you.

Sign up