Enrique Tarrio, the leader of the Proud Boys, was sentenced on Monday to more than 5 months in prison for burning a Black Lives Matter banner during a pro-Trump demonstration last December.
Last month, 37-year-old Tarrio pleaded guilty to the destruction of property for burning the flag that was stolen from Asbury United Methodist Church, a historically Black church in Washington D.C. He also pleaded guilty to attempting to possess a high-capacity gun magazine and for having two firearm magazines bearing the Proud Boys insignia at the time of his arrest.
Both crimes are misdemeanors punishable for up to six months.
Tarrio said that he didn’t know the banner came from the church or he wouldn’t have burned it. NBC News reports that the flag had Asbury’s name printed on it.
Federal prosecutors recommended a sentence of 90 days in jail followed by three months of probation and an order forbidding him to return to Washington. They said his burning of the banner “had profound emotional and psychological effect upon the church and its members” and that he bragged openly about it, saying on social media, “I’m damn proud I did it!”
A senior pastor at the church, the Rev. Dr. Ianther Mills, spoke during the court hearing before the sentence was imposed. She called Tarrio’s conduct “an act of intimidation and racism” and he treated his action as “a trophy on social media.”
Tarrio was arrested in D.C. on Jan. 4 after arriving from Florida for the Jan. 6 assault on the U.S. Capitol. He was ordered to stay away from D.C.
At his sentencing, Tarrio was full of apologies. According to CBS News, D.C. Superior Court Judge Harold Cushenberry sentenced Tarrio to 155 days and ordered him to surrender on September 6.
Cushenberry sentenced Tarrio to 90 days for the destruction of property charge and 150 for attempted possession of a large-capacity ammunition feeding device but suspended all but 155 days of the sentence on the condition that Tarrio serves three years probation, the DOJ said. He will also be required to pay $1,000 in fines and $347 to the church.
“I’d like to profusely apologize,” Tarrio told the court, according to CBS, “What I did was wrong.”