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Proud Boy convictions, Broward's superintendent search, and vigilantism in Haiti

This week a federal jury in Washington D.C. has found four of the Proud Boys’ members, including its former leader, Enrique Tarrio, of Miami, guilty of seditious conspiracy in connection with the violent mob insurrection on January 6, 2021.

Seditious conspiracy, a Civil-War era charge, essentially accuses the convicted of plotting to overthrow the U.S. government. The Capitol riot tried to overthrow the U.S. Congress’ certification of the 2020 presidential election that then-President Trump had lost.

Amy Driscoll, deputy editor of the Miami Herald, wrote an editorial arguing that Miami was also guilty in this case. On The South Florida Roundup, she said that in Miami there were plenty of warnings about Tarrio.

“He’s been arrested repeatedly, he was charged and convicted in that Black Lives Matter banner burning in Washington, and before that he was one of the people pounding on the door when Donna Shalala was running and Nancy Pelosi had come to visit,” she said.

She said that Tarrio is a warning sign of what happens when you don’t disavow someone strongly, or talk about why certain views are problematic. She said when there were warning signs, the Miami-Dade GOP seemed to not want to look into them very closely.

Jay Weaver, federal crime reporter at The Miami Herald, reported on this week's convictions — and the far-right organization that has found political leadership here.

Tarrio did not take part in the storming of the Capitol on Jan. 6, as he was arrested in connection with a Black Lives Matter protest following the 2020 November presidential election. However, he was still culpable in this case.

“Those words are protected, seemingly by the First Amendment and free speech, but they crossed the line into inciting this insurrection because their words online and plotting the storming of The Capitol led to the actual storming,” he said.

Weaver believes that if these convictions do put a halt on The Proud Boys’ activities, some other group will take up the mantle. However, he argued that this will not hurt Trump or other Republicans because they won’t condemn it.

“[Republicans] don’t want to alienate that voting bloc,” he said. “ And it’s very important to the overall future of this Republican Party, which is not your grandfather’s, or your father’s, Republican party anymore."

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Natu Tweh is WLRN's Morning Edition Producer. He also reports on general news out of South Florida.