MMA pioneer Tara LaRosa was among the notable faces spotted alongside high-ranking members of the far-right Proud Boys group at Saturday’s “Million MAGA March” and ensuing violence.
LaRosa, who holds a 22-5 professional MMA record, appeared on video hugging Enrique Tarrio, the Proud Boys “chairman” who succeeded founder Gavin McInnes as leader of the extremist group. He attended the neo-Nazi and white supremacist ‘Unite the Right’ rally in Charlottesville in 2017 and has been pictured flashing the OK hand sign – a gesture used by some to denote white power.
During the video recording, Tarrio explained that he had just stolen a two-way radio from someone he had attacked, while fellow Proud Boy members laughed along.
Looks like Proud Boy Leader Henry "Enrique" Tarrio was a part of the fighting in DC last night. Here he is after getting a hug from Tara LaRosa saying that he took a radio off someone he was fighting. A convicted felon should know that's theft. pic.twitter.com/C6E7selh7z— Idavox (@IdavoxOPP) November 15, 2020
The recording took place amid clashes between Trump supporters protesting the outcome of the 2020 presidential election and counter protestors. At least 20 people were reportedly arrested. Among the most prominent groups taking part in the violence were the Proud Boys, who can be heard shouting “fuck you, ANTIFA” as they attacked counter protestors.
LaRosa later posted photos on social media of her dressed in a yellow sweater emblazoned with the Proud Boys logo, as well as a blue bandana, while flashing the white power hand gesture. One photo caption read: “Yo Antifa... I’m at the Washington Monument... come get me” Another photo showed her flashing the white power sign again while standing alongside a member of the Proud Boys.
Someone looking exactly like LaRosa and dressed in the same outfit could be seen in one of the videos joining in the attacks. She appears to drag one person to the ground and can be seen throwing punches as Proud Boys members swarmed a group of counter protestors.
This was Washington DC last night as the Proud Boys showed up and attacked us. What I say was proud boys mob beating people on the ground throwing glass bottles hitting someone next to me, and chasing people. Several folks were stabbed. One is in critical condition. pic.twitter.com/BMJ84kZoY7— Wayward.streamer (@StreamerWayward) November 15, 2020
LaRosa, 42, has long been a supporter of the Proud Boys. She once tweeted a fake list of anti-fascist activists and organizers ahead of a Proud Boys rally in Portland. The list, which was devised on 8chan — a chat and forum website that has been linked to white supremacists and domestic terrorists and where such groups have reportedly uploaded their manifestos — is actually a list of people who signed an anti-Trump petition from refusefacism.org.
Then, during a 2019 protest in Portland, Oregon, LaRosa pinned a demonstrator on the ground in an attempt to restrain her. When the pinned woman gasped “I can’t breathe,” LaRosa responded with “I don’t care.” LaRosa later claimed that the woman she pinned down approached her and shouted, “Fuck Proud Boys,” after which a fight broke out.