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Proud Boys leader ordered to stay away from D.C. after arrest

Proud Boys leader arrested in Washington
Proud Boys leader arrested in Washington 00:45

Enrique Tarrio, the leader of the right-wing group the Proud Boys, has been ordered to stay away from Washington, D.C., after he was arrested on vandalism and weapons charges. The ruling comes one day before pro-Trump demonstrations are planned in Washington as Congress convenes to count the Electoral College votes ahead of President-elect Joe Biden's inauguration on January 20.

Tarrio was released from custody on Tuesday, but Judge Renee Raymond ordered him to stay away from Washington. Raymond said the government's request for Tarrio to stay away was reasonable given his prior statements about burning anything associated with Black Lives Matter, Raymond also ordered that Tarrio not possess a firearm or ammunition while in Washington.

Tarrio was arrested Monday after he arrived in Washington on a charge stemming from the destruction of a Black Lives Matter banner at a historically Black church. He was found to be in possession of several high-capacity firearms, stemming in felony charges.

Mr. Trump has urged his supporters to gather in Washington to protest the election results, and he tweeted that he will be there. Congress will be convening Wednesday for a joint session to count the Electoral College votes, the last formal step before Mr. Biden is sworn in.

The National Guard has been deployed to Washington at the request of D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser. Firearms will not be allowed in the city, Metro police chief Robert Contee said Monday. 

The original charge against Tarrio, who came to Washington from Miami, stemmed from a December 12 incident at Asbury United Methodist Church, which is on the District of Columbia Register of Historic Places and is the oldest Black church to remain on its original site. The church said its Black Lives Matter flag was torn down and burned during pro-Trump rallies. 

Tarrio told The Washington Post days after the incident that he had participated in the burning of the flag, but he insisted he hadn't participated in a hate crime. He said he would surrender to authorities, plead guilty to destruction of property and pay the church the cost of the banner.

"So, let me make this simple. I did it," he said on December 18.

Asbury United Methodist Church replaced the stolen banner on December 18 and then held a prayer service outside the church, according to The Washington Post.

Tarrio said the Proud Boys were reacting to the stabbing of four members of its group outside a nearby bar. Metropolitan African Methodist Episcopal Church, another historically Black house of worship, also said a Black Lives Matter sign was taken as well. That church filed a lawsuit on Monday against Tarrio for the destruction of the banner.

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