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Proud Boys Leader Begs Judge To Reduce His Sentence After Complaining About Jail Conditions

Proud Boys Leader Begs Judge To Reduce His Sentence After Complaining About Jail Conditions
Joshua Lott/The Washington Post via Getty Images

A leader of an ultra-conservative hate group has made headlines for throwing a tantrum.

Henry "Enrique" Tarrio is a leader of the well-known militarized hate group "The Proud Boys" who—despite his cruel mistreatment of others—has apparently decided he doesn't like the way he's being treated in jail.

The Proud Boys are a hate group that targets people of color, the LGBTQ+ community, immigrants, women and anyone else that they consider to be left-leaning. They have members who are often self-identified as "Western chauvinists," White nationalists and Nazis.

The Proud Boys developed as a prominent group in 2016, after the election of former Republican President Donald Trump.

After Trump lost his re-election in 2020 to current Democratic President Joe Biden, Proud Boys were a large presence among the rioters who stormed the Capitol building on January 6.

Tarrio wasn't at the Capitol riot, however, because just days earlier he was arrested for burning a flag of the equal justice group Black Lives Matter that he had stolen from a historical Black church.

Tarrio was convicted and given a five-month sentence to serve at the central jail in Washington, DC.

On Monday, however—only two months into his sentence—Tarrio appeared before D.C. Superior Court Judge Jonathan Pittman and asked for his sentence to be reduced to 90 days or to serve out the rest of his jail time at home, citing the poor jail conditions.

Tarrio said that while in jail, he experienced "serious abuses of his rights on a daily basis."

He complained the food he received was often cold or inedible. He also complained about his jail cell constantly flooding due to a nearby cell mate who often backed up his toilet and flooded his cell out of protest.

He also whined about the smoke-filled hallways of the jail.

He said:

"I've been to jail before and what I've seen here, I've never seen anywhere else."
"This place needs to be shut down immediately."

On top of this, Tarrio told of abuse he had suffered from guards and medical neglect he had witnessed.

He also said he feared for his life inside the jail walls.

"I'm deathly afraid that something is going to happen to me."

Tarrio's attorney, Lucas Dansie, wrote:

"Mr. Tarrio has been intimidated and antagonized by correctional staff to dissuade him from making complaints about the horrendous conditions."

The Twitter community is divided over the issue.

Many users believe Tarrio is merely whining...

...while others ackowledge while Tarrio should serve time, we should be pushing for better conditions for all inmates.

While it's hard to miss the irony in complaints of maltreatment by a man who made a movement out of mistreating others, inmate abuse is no laughing matter—especially at DC central jail.

Tarrio is far from the first inmate to complain of harsh and cruel conditions at the jail.

In October of this year the DC jail's warden and corrections director were both held in contempt of court and the institution was placed under investigation for multiple counts of inmate abuse—including denying medical care to an inmate with a broken wrist and intentionally shutting off water to cell blocks as a form of "punishment," forcing inmates to live with their own waste.

It's also worth noting the medical neglect Tarrio recounted was actually a quite serious incident in which he described a fellow inmate who had been ignored for over an hour while having a seizure.

Surprisingly enough, Judge Pittman—who didn't inspire much hope in Tarrio for getting his sentence reduced—argued since ALL of the inmates experienced poor conditions, Tarrio wasn't being singled out enough to reduce his sentence.

Pittman said:

"It is obviously distressing to hear of these conditions."
"I come back to the same question: How is Mr. Tarrio's condition any different than any other inmate at the jail?"

When confronted with Tarrio's complaints, the DC Department of Corrections acknowledged the jail had some issues that were being addressed.

Additionally, the Justice Department announced a plan to move over 400 inmates from their whopping 1,500 population to another facility in Pennsylvania. Tarrio and his Proud Boy brethren will not be part of this transfer.

Tarrio cited the prisoner shuffling as proof the jail cannot function in its current state.

He said:

"They don't move 400 prisoners for nothing."

It's deeply unfortunate it took a hate group like The Proud Boys to bring these disturbing injustices to the media forefront, but at least the issue of inmate maltreatment is now in the spotlight.