Proud Boy leader Henry “Enrique” Tarrio has launched a fundraiser to pay legal fees for the criminal case against him for allegedly burning a Black Lives Matter flag from a historic Black church in Washington, D.C., and to sue the city in civil court.
Tarrio’s fundraiser has netted more than $100,000 since his arrest.
Tarrio was also charged with two felonies for alleged possession of high-capacity ammunition feeding devices after police say they found the magazines during his Monday arrest. NBC News reports that Tarrio told police he sells the clips as a side business.
He and the Proud Boys have also been sued by one of the four churches whose banners were burnt during the December protests.
According to the Washington Post, last month, Tarrio told reporters that he burned one banner. He also said that, if charged, he would plead guilty to destruction of property and pay restitution.
The Proud Boys have been promoting Tarrio’s fundraiser on Parler. Thousands have commented and shared it, including leaders of the organization that the Southern Poverty Law Center labels a hate group.
Many comments are negative, as Parler has in recent months attracted people who oppose the extremist right. One opined that people like Tarrio and President Donald Trump “live to grift.”
Among the positive comments, one user wrote, “Defund the DC metro police then. In fact, defund DC altogether.”
Escalating violence and calls for civil war and other lawlessness seem to have turned the tide of law enforcement and public opinion against the Proud Boys.
The Proud Boys have been ramping up protests of President-elect Joe Biden victory for months. Violence has broken out at many of their events.
Possibly hoping to minimize the violence, on Tuesday, a judge banned Tarrio from the District for the time being. The ban comes as the Proud Boys and other die-hard Trump supporters descend on Washington, D.C. today to protest the congressional vote to certify the Electoral College vote and declare Biden the winner of the election.
The Proud Boys have increasingly turned to the Christian crowdfunding platform GiveSendGo to raise funds for their activities associated with these protests. Proud Boy Jeremy Bertino, aka Noble Beard, has raised $60,000 thus far there for medical expenses for injuries from his December stabbing after a Washington, D.C. protest. The group has raised thousands to help pay for travel to the nation’s capital. There’s even a fundraiser with the vague purpose of “[adding] some silver or gold to the Patriot’s Purse.”
Although banned from Washington, D.C. and facing felony charges as well as a civil lawsuit, Tarrio remains defiant. After his release on Tuesday, he posted on Parler, “So sue me put me in chains or attempt to destroy me. [sic] The armor of God protects me.”