Proud Boys leader seeks release from jail, alleging inhumane treatment

The leader of the Proud Boys, asked a judge on Monday to release him from the D.C. jail and place him on home confinement, citing what he described as inhumane conditions in the facility.

Proud Boys leader Henry “Enrique” Tarrio is currently 70 days into a 5-month sentence for setting fire to a stolen Black Lives Matter banner during a demonstration in Washington. 

Appearing in D.C. Superior Court via video, Tarrio, 37, and his attorney said Tarrio has endured abuse from staff members, unsanitary conditions, poor food and a lack of medical care. “I’ve been in jail before, but what I’ve seen here, I’ve never seen before,” Tarrio told Judge Jonathan H. Pittman. “It’s insane. It’s a gulag.”

He also complained about abusive guards, constantly flooded cells, smoke-filled hallways and medical neglect, saying he witnessed a prisoner have a seizure who lay there for a half hour before any help arrived. His voice cracking, Tarrio said, “I’m deathly afraid that something is going to happen to me.”

A surprise inspection by the Marshals Service, conducted Oct. 18 to Oct. 22, found that water in some parts of the facility “had been shut off for days” as punishment, creating an “overpowering” stench from “standing human sewage,” according to Lamont J. Ruffin, the acting marshal for U.S. District Court in Washington.

Pittman said he would issue a ruling later this week. He did issue the following statement in regards to Tarrio’s request: “It’s obviously distressing to hear of these conditions,” he said of the Marshals Service’s findings and Tarrio’s complaints. But the poor conditions are not unique to Tarrio, the judge noted. “What makes Mr. Tarrio different from all the other prisoners?” If he were allowed to finish his sentence on home confinement, “why isn’t everybody else?”

In the Nov. 9 motion, Tarrio’s lawyer Lucas I. Dansie said his client’s cell was flooded with foul toilet water that overflowed from an adjacent cell, while the water in Tarrio’s cell “remains shut off … as retribution for some unknown act that [Tarrio] never committed.”

He said Tarrio’s “meals are literally thrown in his cell, cold and frequently inedible,” and his “requests for medical treatment have been completely ignored.” Among other instances of mistreatment, the lawyer said, “a correctional officer slammed Mr. Tarrio against the wall for no apparent reason, telling him that ‘you shouldn’t have done what you did,’ presumably referring to” the BLM banner burning.

The Marshals Service and the D.C. government signed a legal document Nov. 9 in which they agreed to work together to improve conditions at the jail.




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Paul, 37, is from Scotland in the UK, but currently lives and works in Bangkok. Paul has worked in different industries such as telemarketing, retail, hospitality, farming, insurance, and teaching, where he works now. He teaches at an all-girls High School in Bangkok. “It’s a lot of work, but I love my job.” Paul has an active interest in politics. His reason for writing for FBA is to offer people the facts and allow them to make up their own minds. Whilst he believes opinion columns have their place, it is also important that people can have accurate news with no bias.

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