Earlier today, Proud Boys leader Henry “Enrique” Tarrio was sentenced to prison after confessing to burning a Black Lives Matter banner that had been drawn from the Asbury United Methodist Church in Washington, D.C. in December 2020.
D.C. Attorney General Karl Racine sent out a letter to the U.S. Attorney for the District, Michael Sherwin, advising that the damage of the banners be prosecuted as a hate criminal offense.
The FBI and the Washington, D.C. Metropolitan Police Department thereafter announced that they were investigating the event as a possible hate criminal offense.
On the Proud Boys podcast, Tarrio said he was “damn proud” that he “went on and put the lighter” to the churchs BLM sign and “engulfed it in flames,” the DCist/WAMU reported.
Video of the occurrence circulated on social media, and various media outlets reported on the event not long after it took place.
Tarrio publicly took credit for the flag burning nearly right away.
Happy Boys and other white supremacists burn a Black Lives Matter sign from the Asbury United Methodist Church in D.C. while splashing it with lighter fluid to magnify the flames. This public act is intended to scare and send out a message to Black individuals. pic.twitter.com/0YNsTDaVqF
— Kristen Clarke (@KristenClarkeJD) December 13, 2020
In a letter to U.S. Attorney for D.C. Michael Sherwin, @AGKarlRacine is asking that anyone charged for tearing down and burning Black Lives Matter signs at D.C. churches recently face penalty enhancements for devoting hate criminal offenses. pic.twitter.com/avZhwW7X8f
— Martin Austermuhle (@maustermuhle) December 18, 2020
Significantly, Tarrio was neither accused nor charged with taking the flag, or perhaps of trespassing on church, however just of destroying the banner.
And, in a post on social networks a few days after the occurrence, Tarrio stated:
In that case, two of the defendants– Alexander Kostan and Reginald Lewis– were each sentenced to 3 years of probation and 6 months of house arrest for defacing federal home– the minimum possible sentence– with no jail time at all.
Tarrio admitted to breaking the law by damaging home that did not come from him, and for that, he definitely must be held accountable. Tarrios sentence appears significantly more severe than the penalties that have actually been handed down to leftwing vandals who were convicted of similar offenses.
Or, ponder the sentence of Brian Jordan Bartels, a 21 year-old member of antifa who prompted a riot in Pittsburgh after the May 25, 2020 death of George Floyd.
On August 23, D.C. Superior Court Senior Judge Harold Cushenberry sentenced Tarrio to 90 days imprisonment, sixty days of which were suspended. Tarrio should report to the D.C. jail by September 6.
In 2016, Black Lives Matter protestors in Portland, Oregon took an American flag from an advocate of Ammon Bundy (who was acquitted on federal conspiracy and firearms charges developing out of his occupation of federal park land) and set it on fire in front of the Multnomah County Justice.
On Saturday, numerous thousand residents concerned downtown Pittsburgh to protest the awful death of George Floyd. They concerned air legitimate complaints, constant with the finest customs of our nation. As they marched through downtown, the demonstration was serene.
The protest turned violent. Bartels was the first to prompt violence. With others searching outdoors PPG Pains Arena, Bartels spray painted a Pittsburgh Police car. Other protesters shouted “Stop!”, however Bartels leapt and smashed on the windscreen. Others then took part. The cars and truck was set on fire and ruined.
This was the inflection point in the demonstration! What was serene became lawless. Eventually, Pittsburgh patrol car were burned. Mounted Pittsburgh Police officers were assaulted. And projectiles were thrown at Pittsburgh Police Officers. What started as a tranquil demonstration, became a violent night of destruction throughout downtown Pittsburgh.
On July 19, 2021, Tarrio pleaded guilty to burning the flag in violation of D.C. Code § 22-303, which is entitled “Malicious burning, damage, or injury of anothers home.” That ordinance offers:.
Kayla Sharp: pleaded guilty to disorderly conduct for “participating in a riot” as part of a group tossing glass bottles at cops officers. She was sentenced to 45 days, all suspended, and a $248 fine. No prison time.
And often, progressives are not even arrested or criminally prosecuted at all.
According to the Willamette Week, a BLM organizer confessed that they did not have approval to ruin the flag, however defended their conduct, specifying, “The American flag stands for things we dont support and for individuals who do not support us. We have no love for that flag.”.
As I said on @WarboysTV
Theyre even using a reward.
It isnt about the color of somebodys skin.
Against the dreams of my lawyer I am here today to confess that I am the person responsible for the burning of this sign. And I am not embarrassed of what I did due to the fact that I didnt do it out of hate … I did it out of love. Love for a country that has actually given my household A Lot. The burning of this banner wasnt about race religious beliefs or political ideology it was about a racist movement that has scared the citizens of this nation. I will not standby and see them burn another city.
Let me make this basic. I did it.
Come get me if you feel like what I did was wrong. Well let the public choose.
Tarrio was thereafter arrested on January 4, 2021 on charges of destruction of property.
#BREAKING NEWS: Pittsburgh Police state 20 year old Brian Bartels is the guy who prompted riots in downtown #Pittsburgh yesterday. This is video taken of him damaging a patrol car. An arrest warrant has actually been provided. https://t.co/AFYsrV2vsD.
* WARNING * Explicit Language pic.twitter.com/CNmoVHx7Fn.
— Tim Williams (@realtimwilliams) June 1, 2020.
Comparable slaps on the wrist were troubled those who were charged with defacing the Foley Federal Building and the Lloyd George U.S. Courthouse in Las Vegas during a Black Lives Matter protest in spring of 2020. The accuseds there spray-painted walls with obscenities and graffiti, and small bushes were set on fire causing around $71,000 of damage.
The Pittsburgh Post Gazette reported that Bartelss actions “spurred on a crowd to additional violence that led to the cars and truck being burned and other damage,” consisting of damage to 60 properties and organizations.
WOW. Read it. pic.twitter.com/GMiMLavRaw.
— PatriotTakes (@patriottakes) December 18, 2020.
According to Fox News, Bartels smashed the windows out of a significant Pittsburgh squad car and then spray-painted a letter A on it during a May 30 protest.
Throughout the summer of 2020, in the consequences of the death of George Floyd, BLM and antifa agitators rioted and regularly damaged private and public property– including burning American flags– during demonstrations throughout the nation. A lot of those provocateurs were arrested and prosecuted for their crimes, and their sentences can be compared to Tarrios:.
When an indictment was filed versus Bartels, U.S. Attorney Scott W. Brady launched the following statement:.
For these actions, Bartels was sentenced to simply one day in U.S. custody and 6 months in a midway house.
James Brisendine: pleaded guilty to arson for lighting a dumpster on fire during a BLM protest in Manchester, New Hampshire. He was sentenced to therapy. No prison time.
According to the Las Vegas Review-Journal, an off-duty Federal Protective Service security officer stationed inside the federal structure reported hearing people in the crowd chant “Get him!” and “Get the police officer!”.
Sydney Foster: was charged with threatening an authorities officer and criminal damage to property after smashing windows at a bookstore and a post workplace throughout a BLM demonstration in Madison, Wisconsin. Foster was sentenced to two years of probation. No jail time.
Andrew Magoon: pleaded nolo contendere to disorderly conduct where, as part of a group who were tossing bottles at officers, emerged armed with a baseball bat and continuing to go into the road after being ordered not to do so. He was sentenced to a fine (which was suspended 12 months). No prison time.
This flag burning incident, like that of Henry Tarrio, was captured on social networks
Sydney Foster: was charged with threatening an authorities officer and criminal damage to residential or commercial property after smashing windows at a post and a book shop office during a BLM demonstration in Madison, Wisconsin. He was sentenced to a fine (which was suspended 12 months). She was sentenced to 45 days, all suspended, and a $248 fine. #BREAKING NEWS: Pittsburgh Police state 20 year old Brian Bartels is the man who incited riots in downtown #Pittsburgh yesterday. Ultimately, Pittsburgh cops automobiles were burned.
We should hold individuals liable for wrongdoing, but in a way that is colorblind and perspective neutral. There is no location for “affirmative action” when it concerns sentencing. The inverse is also real– our judges must not be imposing harsher charges because an accused is too white, too conservative, or a fan of Donald Trump.
It does not appear that any prosecutions or arrests resulted from this occurrence– that the flag was somebodys private home, like the BLM banner in Tarrios case, made no difference whatsoever.
Equal justice need to indicate just that. Honoring the law does not mean honoring the left, and the guidons of woke causes should not be treated by our courts as holy sacraments worthy of customized protection. Doing so erodes confidence in the fairness of our criminal justice system, promotes vigilantism and adds to extremism on both ends of the political divide.
By external indicators, it appears that Judge Cushenberry may have been affected by these pernicious and false arguments.
Attacking cops stations … makes rational sense. It is not the unexpected, spontaneous expression of a disordered and unreasonable mob but the clear enactment of a political position, the satisfaction in some little however concrete method of the main need being made by protesters across the nation: Police require to be defunded, and some authorities stations need to disappear.
One need to hope that this is the reason for the disparity in between Tarrios sentence and the sentences troubled those who committed similar offenses in the name of leftwing causes. Otherwise, the message is clear: BLM activists are permitted to immolate an American flag that comes from others with virtual impunity because they object to what it means, however it is not alright for anybody to burn a BLM banner for the very same reason.
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We understand that liberal media routinely glorifies and rationalizes leftist violence and damage as an exemplary struggle by heroic flexibility fighters against malevolent and overbearing forces.
To be sure, if Tarrio had a substantial rap sheet, that might discuss why his sentence was a lot harsher than those of his political revers who were convicted of similar criminal activities. And it appears that Tarrio has criminal convictions from 2004 and 2013– although those were not for crimes of violence or destruction of home.
It also would defy the Constitution to penalize an accused because he has actually revealed antipathy toward groups like Black Lives Matter or because he has connected with others, like the Proud Boys, who welcome views that cause liberals to clutch their pearls.
Judges are supposed to be our backstop versus government overreach. When they catch the progressive infection that disparages law enforcement and teaches hatred of America, our entire Republic remains in danger.
Another piece published on the site of left-leaning think tank New America asserted that condemnation of residential or commercial property damage by BLM is “despicable” since it recommends that residential or commercial property damage “is a larger issue than the continued massacre of Black individuals by cops.”.
For example, an article in the progressive magazine The Nation argued that instances of vandalism and robbery by the radical left are not “lapse [ s] of judgment and loss of control” however “affordable and articulate expressions” of individual beliefs “in the face of frustrating state brutality and structural economic and racial injustice.”.
As Henry Tarrios case demonstrates, we may have reached that point.
Obviously, this would breach federal sentencing law, which restricts courts from producing “unwarranted sentence variations among accuseds with similar records who have been found guilty of comparable conduct.”.