By Marshall Cohen and Sara Sidner | CNN
Proud Boys person Enrique Tarrio was sentenced Monday to much than 5 months successful jailhouse for burning a church’s Black Lives Matter banner successful December and bringing high-capacity firearm magazines to Washington, DC, days earlier the US Capitol insurrection.
The determination was handed down Monday by Judge Harold L. Cushenberry Jr. of DC Superior Court. Even though Tarrio was not successful Washington connected the time of the January 6 insurrection, the justice said Tarrio’s preceding behaviour successful the nation’s superior undermined American democracy.
“This tribunal indispensable respect the close of immoderate national to peacefully assemble, protest, and marque his oregon her views known connected issues,” Cushenberry said. “But Mr. Tarrio’s behaviour successful these transgression cases vindicate nary of these antiauthoritarian values. Instead, Mr. Tarrio’s actions betrayed them.”
Tarrio, who has led the far-right extremist enactment since 2018, pleaded blameworthy successful July to the 2 misdemeanors. Federal prosecutors had asked the justice to springiness Tarrio 3 months successful jail.
The flag-burning incidental occurred astatine the Asbury United Methodist Church, a historically Black church, connected December 12, aft Tarrio and different Proud Boys attended a pro-Trump rally successful Washington that aboriginal led to convulsive clashes. He was arrested erstwhile helium returned to DC connected January 4, soon earlier the Capitol insurrection, and was recovered with 2 high-capacity magazines that are banned nether DC’s strict weapon power laws.
After his arrest, helium was released but ordered to enactment retired of DC — a determination that elder Justice Department officials aboriginal said was intended to tamp down imaginable unit connected January 6.
In a missive to the justice up of sentencing, the church’s elder pastor said the flag-burning incidental traumatized galore of her congregants and brought backmost “visions of slavery, the Ku Klux Klan (and) transverse burnings.”
The pastor, the Rev. Dr. Ianther M. Mills, besides spoke passionately during Monday’s sentencing proceeding astir the semipermanent interaction of Tarrio’s actions, condemning them arsenic brazenly racist.
She said Tarrio led a “marauding set of aggravated achromatic men… seemingly looking for trouble” done the streets of DC, adding, “in our opinion, this was an enactment of intimidation and racism.”
During the hearing, Tarrio apologized straight to the church’s pastor and said helium “made a sedate mistake” by burning the Black Lives Matter banner and aboriginal gloating astir it connected societal media. His lawyer asked the justice to condemnation Tarrio to assemblage work alternatively of incarceration.
“I’d similar to profusely apologize for my actions… what I did was wrong,” Tarrio sad.
But the far-right fig besides painted himself arsenic a unfortunate of the situation, telling the judge, “I person suffered financially, socially, for what I’ve done. My family’s concern has been deed beauteous hard. So, what I did doesn’t lone impact the church. It affects a batch much people, including my family.”
The justice aboriginal concluded that Tarrio’s apology wasn’t credible and rejected Tarrio’s assertion that helium didn’t cognize helium was destroying religion property, calling it a “bald, self-serving assertion.”
“He could not person cared little astir the laws of the District of Columbia,” the justice said. “He cared astir himself and self-promotion … His assertion of ‘innocent mistake’ is not credible astatine all.”
The lawsuit against Tarrio played retired successful section DC tribunal and is abstracted from the sprawling national probe into the January 6 insurrection — during which dozens of Proud Boys stormed the gathering and person since been charged with conspiracy and different felonies.
As portion of the plea agreement, the Justice Department explicitly said it tin bring “different (and) further charges” against Tarrio regarding the onslaught connected the Capitol. It’s wide from tribunal filings that prosecutors are aggressively investigating the Proud Boys and their actions before, during and aft the January 6 riot. But it’s unclear if Tarrio volition ever beryllium charged arsenic portion of that probe.
Tarrio criticizes the sentence
In an interrogation with CNN aft the hearing, Tarrio said the punishment was just but criticized the judge, who astatine archetypal mistakenly gave Tarrio a longer jailhouse word than is legally allowed connected the weapons charge, and was forced to set the condemnation doubly earlier the proceedings ended.
“I’m not amazed with the condemnation per se. I americium amazed by the judge,” Tarrio said. “I consciousness similar the justice already had his caput made up. At its astir basal function, a justice is expected to cognize what the idiosyncratic successful beforehand of him was charged with. And successful my case, helium did not.”
“If I would person known it would person happened similar this, I would person gone to trial,” helium said, predicting that helium would person beaten the spot demolition charge, adjacent though it was caught connected video and helium repeatedly and publically claimed work for the banner-burning.
“I learned from this experience,” Tarrio said. “If anyone thinks putting maine successful chains silencing me, dehumanizing maine volition support maine quiet, they are wrong. In fact, I volition usage my dependable adjacent more. Even the radical who disagree with me, similar Black Lives Matter, spot the injustice successful the justness strategy and I anticipation they support up the combat due to the fact that I definite arsenic hellhole will.”
Tarrio told CNN helium would crook himself successful connected September 6.