On December 12, 2020, a group of proud boys, including Tarrio, stole a banner reading #BLACKLIVESMATTER from the grounds of the Asbury United Methodist Church. The banner also had the logo and website address of the church, the city’s oldest black Methodist church.
At the intersection of 11th and E Street NW, numerous unidentified members of the group crouched and set fire to the banner with lighter fluid and lighters. Tarrio took responsibility for burning the banner and posted a photo of himself with an unlit lighter near the banner on social media platform Parler. He also admitted the violation in comments to multiple media outlets.
Tarrio traveled from Florida back to Washington, D.C., on January 4—two days before the Capitol uprising—where he was arrested for destruction of property. When police searched his satchel at the time of the arrest, they found two high-capacity firearms magazines, both bearing the Proud Boys insignia.
Tarrio told detectives he planned to give the firearms magazines to a customer who “would also be present in the District of Columbia.”
Numerous members of the Proud Boys have been charged for their role in the attack on the Capitol on January 6. After Tarrio was arrested in January, the Proud Boys turned to new leaders, including Ethan Nordean, a Seattle Proud Boys leader, who helped coordinate the group’s role in the insurgency, according to detailed documents detailing the activities of describe the pro-Trump, nationalist group.
In March, prosecutors revealed new conspiracy charges against four leaders of the group, accusing them of plotting to disrupt Congressional certification of the 2020 election.