KEY POINTS

  • Henry "Enrique" Tarrio was arrested in Washington D.C. on Monday
  • The flag-burning incident took place during pro-Trump demonstrations on Dec. 12
  • Tarrio already took responsibility for the act

The leader of the far-right political group Proud Boys was arrested Monday in Washington D.C. for allegedly burning a Black Lives Matter flag.

Henry "Enrique" Tarrio, 36, is facing misdemeanor destruction of property charges for allegedly burning the flag, which had been ripped from the Asbury United Methodist Church, a historic Black church in downtown Washington during pro-Trump demonstrations on Dec. 12.

Tarrio admitted to participating in the burning of the Black Lives Matter banner. He earlier told The Washington Post that he would plead guilty to the destruction of property charge and pay the church the cost of the banner.

A D.C. Metropolitan Police Department Public Information Officer told CNN that Tarrio had been found to be in possession of high capacity firearm magazines at the time of the arrest.  "At the time of his arrest, he was found to be in possession of two high capacity firearm magazines. He was additionally charged with Possession of High Capacity Feeding Device," officer Sean Hickman told the outlet.

Donald Trump losing the U.S. presidential election to his Democratic rival Joe Biden last month triggered intense demonstrations by right-wing activists. Demonstrators, many of whom were dressed in the Proud Boys' signature black and yellow polo T-shirt, gathered outside the Supreme Court, asking to invalidate the presidential election results. At least four people were stabbed and 33 were arrested as the protesters clashed with Trump opponents. Videos posted online showed people pouring accelerant on a Black Lives Matter sign and one person walking up to it and setting it ablaze afterward.

Tarrio said during a "WarBoys" podcast interview last month that he was indeed the person seen in the videos putting a lighter near the accelerant-soaked flag.

Founded in 2016, the band of boys describes themselves as "western chauvinists" who were labeled as an "extremist group with ties to white nationalism" by the FBI. The group has also been called out by the Anti-Defamation League for their misogynistic, anti-Muslim and anti-immigration rhetoric.

Members of the violent Proud Boys group are expected to attend a last-ditch rally for US President Donald Trump in Washington on January 6 Members of the violent Proud Boys group are expected to attend a last-ditch rally for US President Donald Trump in Washington on January 6 Photo: AFP / Olivier DOULIERY