The far-right radical boys who stormed the Capitol could face 50 years or more in prison
The conviction is an important new step in the criminal justice that justice seeks in the events of January 6, 2021, when thousands of supporters of Donald Trump forcibly entered the US Capitol building in Washington. The members of the Proud Boys were found guilty of a large number of crimes, including several counts of conspiracy. Enrique Tarrio, former leader of the Proud Boys, is one of the convicts.
Justice charged the suspects with a serious and rarely used suspicion: conspiracy to overthrow the government. Four suspects were convicted. They face a possible prison sentence of fifty years or more.
About the author
Thomas Ruepp is the US correspondent for De Volkskrant. Lives in New York. He is the author of the book Laura H.
In the case of the fifth suspect, Dominic Pezzola, “incitement to conspiracy” was not deemed proven. However, like the rest, he was convicted of other crimes, including obstruction of constitutional procedures.
On January 6, 2021, the United States Congress met to formally certify Joe Biden’s electoral victory. The Proud Boys’ plan was, among other things, to thwart this action and thus keep outgoing President Trump in power.
Donald Trump’s army
The Proud Boys are a notorious armed group causing unrest in the United States since 2017. Among other things, they have been aggressively involved in various Black Lives Matter protests against police brutality targeting black Americans. Leader Enrique Tarrio was previously sentenced to five months in prison for weapons possession and burning a Black Lives Matter flag he had taken out of a church. After storming the Capitol, the Proud Boys run into the FBI’s crosshairs.
Internal communications from the Proud Boys, used as evidence in many cases, revealed a culture of racism, homophobia and misogyny. In recent years, the focus has been on former President Donald Trump, whom the group considers a beacon. According to the attorney general, the Proud Boys acted like “Donald Trump’s army.”
After Trump issued a call on Twitter in late 2020 for his supporters to come to Washington, D.C., to protest on January 6, the Proud Boys put together a group referred to as the “MoD.” A group chat referred to 1776: the year the United States declared independence after the Revolution.
Six others have previously been convicted of attempting to overthrow the government during the storming of the Capitol. They were members of the Oath Keepers, another far-right militia. Founder Stuart Rhodes was one of the convicts. It should become clear later this month what punishment he will receive.
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