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Proud Boys leader to spend five months in prison for burning church banner

by Premier Journalist
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REUTERS/Hannah McKay/File Photo

Proud Boys organizer Enrique Torres will spend five months in jail after pleading guilty to destroying a church's banner.

In early December, a contingent of the far-right group known as Proud Boys marched through Washington, DC, while protesting the 2020 election. While there were several incidents of violence between the Proud Boys and other far-left organizations, the one incident that has stood out is due to Torres' involvement. The Proud Boys leader had decided to steal and destroy a Black Lives Matter banner that Asbury United Methodist Church had hung up on their property. Clips were later posted by those in attendance onto Twitter, featuring several men dressed in Proud Boy garb setting the sign on fire and dousing it in lighter fluid.

When asked for their opinion on the event, Asbury's minister told Religion News Service that "it was reminiscent of cross burnings," 

While Torres expressed guilt for destroying said property in court, the plaintiffs noted that Tarrio had expressed excitement about the action, even posting on social media that "I'm damn proud I did it." Torres was eventually arrested in January 2021, when local law enforcement discovered that he had several high-capacity gun magazines on his person.

While the judge overseeing the trial recognizes Torres' guilty plea, they believed that he "did not credibly express genuine remorse" and sentenced the 37-year-old man to 155 days in prison.

Asbury UMC is not the only church to clash with the Proud Boys. Metropolitan African Methodist Episcopal Church sued the far-right organization for destroying their Black Lives Matter sign. The church's lawyers even accused the organization of "engaging in acts of terror and vandalizing church property in an effort to intimidate the Church and silence its support for racial justice."

 

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