Police have arrested the leader of far-right group Proud Boys, who is accused of burning a Black Lives Matter banner in downtown Washington last month.

Henry 'Enrique' Tarrio, 36, was arrested by Metropolitan Police Department officers after he arrived in Washington ahead of protests planned by supporters of President Donald Trump to coincide with the congressional vote expected on Wednesday to affirm Joe Biden's election victory.

Mr Tarrio was taken into custody after a warrant was issued for his arrest for destruction of property, police said.

He was also facing weapons charges after officers found him with two high-capacity firearm magazines when he was arrested, a police spokesman said.

He has reportedly admitted torching a banner taken from a black church during a rally in December in the city.

Mr Tarrio told The Washington Post he had participated in the burning of the Black Lives Matter banner and said he would plead guilty to destruction of property and pay the church the cost of the banner.

Another video showed men removing a Black Lives Matter sign at the Metropolitan AME Church.

Local police already have begun conducting extra surveillance in the area.

A police spokesman told The Associated Press last month that investigators were probing the incidents as potential hate crimes, but no hate crime charges had been filed against Mr Tarrio.

Mr Tarrio did not immediately respond to a message seeking comment on the allegations and it was not immediately clear whether he had an attorney who could comment on his behalf.