Proud Boys leader Enrique Tarrio was sentenced to 4 months in jail today for burning a Black Lives Matter flag in the streets of Washington D.C. on December 12th of last year. Tarrio was attending a rally in support of Donald Trump when he stole a #BLACKLIVESMATTER flag from the Asbury United Methodist Church and set it on fire. Tarrio was also received an additional month for bringing high capacity magazines to the area a few days before January 6th. He is scheduled to self surrender in two weeks.
Tarrio will have to do his time with a target on his back because in 2014 he received a reduced sentence for cooperating with the FBI. Tarrio was charged with re-labeling diabetes test kits in 2012, but went undercover for the FBI in a human trafficking investigation. He was crediting with getting at least a dozen people busted (https://copblaster.com/blast/34407/proud-boys-leader-enrique-tarrio-outed-as-prolific-fbi-informant).
Despite being a snitch and his friends at the U.S. Attorney's Office asking for a three month sentence in this case, Judge Harold L. Cushenberry Jr. gave Tarrio a total of 5 months. We think that sentence is excessive just for burning a flag and possessing stuff everyone has a 2nd Amendment Right to possess. The practice of banning convicted felons from carrying guns is a great example of just one reason why the United States government is not legitimate. A legitimate government that upholds the Constitution would not ban anyone from bearing arms. We also oppose the criminalization of flag burning, especially when that burning is done as part of a political protest. He did of course steal the flag, so he deserved to be convicted of theft and although we don't know the exact dollar value of the flag, we doubt it was worth enough to justify any sentence beyond restitution, community service, and probation.
Comments made by Judge Cushenberry suggest that Tarrio is being punished more for who he is than what he did. "This court must respect the right of any citizen to peacefully assemble, protest, and make his or her views known on issues," Cushenberry said. "But Mr. Tarrio's conduct in these criminal cases vindicate none of these democratic values. Instead, Mr. Tarrio's actions betrayed them." We doubt he would have made such statements had Tarrio burned an American flag at an anti-war protest. We think he gave more weight to the statements of Rev. Dr. Ianther M. Mills than he did the seriousness of the underlying conduct. Dr. Mills said that Tarrio's conduct brought back "visions of slavery, the Ku Klux Klan (and) cross burnings." We can see how that could be the case for a person in Dr. Mills' position, but we also didn't notice any allegations that Tarrio picked that banner because it was at a black church or that he even realized that it was a black church as a opposed to just some church.
We also think the January 6th incident involving Tarrio's followers at the Capitol Building influenced this sentence. Prosecutors said at sentencing that Tarrio was being investigated for the January 6th incident which implies he had something to do with it. Several Proud Boys were arrested, but Tarrio has not been charged so far. Such things can legally be sentencing factors because they are considered part of the history and characteristics of the defendant. We are against the use of such factors. The founder of Cop Blaster once got an excessive sentence because his sentencing judge didn't like some of his speech, so we are always on the lookout for cases of controversial figures being sentenced excessively for political reasons because if it can happen to him it can happen to anyone.