The cop has provided information to the leader of the Proud Boys
By Michael Kunzelmann | Associated Press
WASHINGTON — A police officer frequently provided Proud Boys leader Enrique Tarrio with inside information about law enforcement operations in the weeks before other members of his far-right group stormed the U.S. Capitol, according to messages shown at the trial of Tarrio and four associates on Wednesday became .
A federal prosecutor showed the jury a series of messages that Lt. Metropolitan Police’s Shane Lamond and Tarrio exchanged privately ahead of a mob attack on the Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021. Lamond, an intelligence officer for the city’s police department, was responsible for monitoring groups like the Proud Boys when they came to Washington to protest.
Less than three weeks before the Jan. 6 riots, Lamond Tarrio warned that the FBI and US Secret Service were “excited” when an Infowars webcast discussed the Proud Boys planning to pose as supporters of President Joe Biden to dress up Democrat Inauguration Day.
Justice Department prosecutor Conor Mulroe asked a government witness, FBI Special Agent Peter Dubrowski, how common it was for law enforcement to disclose internal information in this way. “I’ve never heard of it,” Dubrowski said.
Tarrio was arrested two days before the attack on the Capitol in Washington and accused of burning a Black Lives Matter banner taken from a historic black church during a protest in December 2020. 6.
In a message to Tarrio dated December 25, 2020, Lamond said Metropolitan Police Department investigators asked him to identify Tarrio from a photo. He warned Tarrio that the police could apply for an arrest warrant against him.
Later, on the day of his arrest, Tarrio sent a message to other Proud Boys leaders stating, “The warrant has just been signed.”
Before the trial began in January, Tarrio’s attorneys said Lamond’s testimony would be critical to his defense and backed Tarrio’s claims that he wanted to avoid violence. Mulroe said Lamond exercised his Fifth Amendment privilege against self-incrimination.
Tarrio’s attorneys have accused prosecutors of silencing Lamond by warning the officer that he could be charged with obstructing investigations into Tarrio, a Miami resident who was national chairman of the Proud Boys. Prosecutors deny this allegation.
Sabino Jauregui, one of Tarrio’s lawyers, said other news showed that Tarrio routinely cooperated with police and provided useful information to Lamond. Jauregui said prosecutors had “pulled (Lamond’s) name through the mud” and falsely implied he was a “dirty cop” who had an inappropriate relationship with Tarrio.
“That was always her issue,” Jauregui told US District Judge Timothy Kelly during a test break.
Lamond was placed on administrative leave by police in February 2022, according to Mark Schamel, an attorney for the officer. Schamel said Lamond helped with Tarrio’s arrest for burning the Black Lives Matter banner.
In a statement Wednesday, Schamel said Lamond’s job requires him to communicate with a variety of groups protesting in Washington and that his conduct was “appropriate and always aimed at protecting the citizens of Washington, DC.”
“Lt. Lamond at no time endorsed or endorsed the hateful and divisive agenda of any of the various groups that came to DC to protest,” Schamel said. “More importantly, Lt. Lamond is an excellent official who will not condone the hateful rhetoric or illegal conduct on January 6 and only communicates with those individuals because the mission requires it.”
Tarrio and his four lieutenants are charged with a seditious conspiracy, which prosecutors say was a conspiracy to stop the peaceful transfer of power from the president and keep former President Donald Trump in the White House after the 2020 presidential election. Thousands of rioters stormed the Capitol on Jan. 6, disrupting a joint session of Congress to confirm the Electoral College vote.
Proud Boys members describe the group as a politically incorrect men’s club for “Western chauvinists”. For years before the attack on the Capitol, they often fought with anti-fascist activists at rallies and protests.
In a message to Tarrio dated December 18, 2020, Lamond said other police investigators had asked him if the Proud Boys were racist. The officer said he told them the group had Black and Hispanic members, “so not a racial thing.”
“However, it is not being investigated by the FBI. Just us,” Lamond added.
“Great,” Tarrio replied.
In another exchange that day, Lamond asked Tarrio if he had made an anonymous tip claiming responsibility for the flag burning.
“I’ve done more than that,” Tarrio replied. “It’s on my social media.”
In a message to Tarrio dated December 11, 2020, Lamond informed him of the whereabouts of anti-fascist activists. The officer asked Tarrio whether to share this information with uniformed police officers or keep it to himself.
Two days later, Tarrio asked Lamond what the police department’s “general consensus” was about the Proud Boys.
“It’s too complicated for a text answer,” Lamond replied. “It’s a face-to-face conversation over a beer.”
Tarrio’s co-defendants are Ethan Nordean, head of the Proud Boys chapter of Auburn, Washington; Joseph Biggs of Ormond Beach, Florida, a self-proclaimed organizer of the Proud Boys; Zachary Rehl, who led a chapter of the Proud Boys in Philadelphia; and Dominic Pezzola, a group member from Rochester, New York.
They are among a number of Proud Boys members facing charges in the riots. In a separate case this week, the president of a West Virginia chapter of the group, Jeffrey Finley, was sentenced to 75 days behind bars after pleading guilty to charges of illegal entry. The Associated Press emailed Finley’s attorney Wednesday for comment.
Associated Press reporter Alanna Durkin Richer in Boston contributed to this report.
https://www.ocregister.com/2023/02/15/testimony-police-officer-fed-info-to-proud-boys-leader/ The cop has provided information to the leader of the Proud Boys