The decision was handed down by Judge Harold L. Cushenberry Jr. of the DC Superior Court on Monday. Although Tario was not in Washington on the day of the uprising on January 6, the judge stated that Tario’s previous actions in Washington undermined American democracy.
“This court must respect the right of any citizen to peacefully assemble, protest and express opinions on issues,” Cushenberg said. “But Mr. Tario’s actions in these criminal cases did not prove that these democratic values were correct. On the contrary, Mr. Tario’s actions betrayed them.”
Tario, who has led a far-right extremist organization since 2018, pleaded guilty to these two misdemeanors in July. Federal prosecutors asked the judge to sentence Tario to three months in prison.
On December 12th, Tario and other proud boys participated in a rally in support of Trump in Washington, which later sparked violent clashes. This flag burning incident occurred in the historic black church Asbury United Methodist Association (Asbury United Methodist Church). He was arrested on January 4 when he returned to Washington shortly before the Capitol Rebellion, and was found carrying two large-capacity magazines that were banned under Washington’s strict gun control laws.
After his arrest, he was released but ordered to stay away from Washington-a senior Justice Department official later stated that the move was aimed at curbing possible violence on January 6.
In a letter to the judge before the sentence was pronounced, the senior pastor of the church said that the burning of the national flag had traumatized many of her congregations and brought back “slavery, the KKK (and) cross-burning scene.” .
Pastor Ianther M. Mills also spoke enthusiastically about the long-term effects of Tarrio’s actions at the sentencing hearing on Monday, condemning them as shameless racists.
She said Tario led “a group of angry white men…obviously looking for trouble” through the streets of Washington, adding, “In our opinion, this is an act of intimidation and racism.”
At the hearing, Tario directly apologized to the pastor of the church and said that he burned the “Black Man’s Life is Fate” banner, and later gloated on social media and “made a serious mistake.” His lawyer asked the judge to sentence Tario community service instead of imprisonment.
“I want to apologize for my actions…I did something wrong,” Tario was sad.
But this far-right person also portrayed himself as a victim of this situation. He told the judge, “What I did has suffered economically and socially. My family business has been severely hit. So, I What I did did not only affect the church. It affects more people, including my family.”
The judge later concluded that Tario’s apology was not credible, and rejected Tario’s claim that he did not know that he was destroying church property, calling it a “naked, selfish assertion.”
“It is impossible for him not to care about the laws of the District of Columbia,” the judge said. “He cares about himself and self-promotion… His claim that’innocent mistakes’ is simply not credible.”
The case against Tario was staged in the local DC court, separate from the huge federal investigation into the January 6 uprising-during this period, dozens of proud boys stormed the building and were accused of conspiracy and Other felony.
As part of the plea agreement, the Department of Justice made it clear that it can file “different (and) additional charges” against Tario for the attack on the Capitol. It is clear from the court documents that the prosecutor is actively investigating the proud boy and his behavior before, during and after the January 6 riots. But it is unclear whether Tario will be charged as part of the investigation.