Proud boys Leader Enrique Tarrio will step down in September while the group – a self-proclaimed far-right chauvinist gang called a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center – focuses its efforts on overnight local politics and the political fallout from the Capitol uprising.
In an interview with NPRMr. Tarrio said he would step down from his role as national president to focus on his Florida chapter, while other members “will start to get more involved in local politics, leading our guys in the election from of local seats, whether it’s a simple GOP seat or a city council seat. “
At least one former Proud Boys member Joel Campbell is running for a seat on Topeka, Kansas city council, although he told NPR that if he was serious about pursuing his political ambitions, “I couldn’t be anymore. associated with them “.
In recent years, the staging of political violence leading up to the 2020 presidential election and galvanized by Donald trump after invoking their name on the debate stage, the Proud Boys became a “fascist and right-wing political bloc” relying on street violence in concert with right-wing media and GOP elected officials, research finds high level of the SPLC. analyst Cassie Miller.
“They work in symbiosis with the right-wing media and a power structure – led by Trump – that is eager to crack down on protesters and take political revenge on progressive ridings like Portland,” she wrote.
Dozens of people with suspected links to the group are among hundreds who have been arrested or are under investigation in the wake of the Capitol uprising, with several men accused of plotting to attack the halls of Congress, fueled by Mr. Trump’s “stolen election” narrative to forcibly overturn the 2020 election results.
Prominent members of the Proud Boys Ethan “Rufio Panman” Nordean and Joe Biggs were among those arrested for obstructing or obstructing official proceedings, aiding and abetting, and knowingly entering or remaining in a restricted building.
Mr. Tarrio, who was not present during the assault, was charged with two counts of possession of a large capacity ammunition supply device and ordered to stay outside the national capital after he was stopped in the city the day before the attack, after admitting to burning a Black Lives Matter banner from a historic black church during a violent rally in December.
The city’s Metropolitan Police Department issued an arrest warrant for destruction of property, a misdemeanor, last month; he was arrested on January 5 after entering the capital from Miami.
After his arrest, officers found two magazines, compatible with the AR-16 and M4 rifles, in his briefcase.
Mr Tarrio admitted in comments on the right-wing social media platform Speak and on a podcast affiliated with Proud Boys that he was responsible for burning a church sign.
“When the BLM panel burned down, I turned it on,” he said on the War Boys podcast last month. “I was the person who went ahead and put the lighter on it and engulfed it in flames, and I’m so damn proud that I did.”
In the days before a pro-Trump mob stormed onto Capitol Hill, Mr. Tarrio promised the Proud Boys “would be in record numbers” on January 6, but the group will be “incognito” without their black and yellow outfits, according to messages from Parler included in court documents.
Later that month, he was accused to be a “prolific” informant for federal law enforcement since at least 2012, after court records revealed his cooperation with police while undercover, leading to prosecutions against more a dozen people in drug, gambling and human trafficking cases.
Mr Tarrio dismissed reports that the group had been in financial difficulty or split up in the wake of the insurgency and revelations that it worked with the police, telling NPR the chapters were “all about the same wavelength”.