Officer often fed information to Proud Boys leader

WASHINGTON (AP) — A police officer continuously offered Proud Boys chief Enrique Tarrio with inner details about regulation enforcement operations within the weeks earlier than different members of his far-right extremist group stormed the U.S. Capitol, in keeping with messages proven Wednesday on the trial of Tarrio and 4 associates.

A federal prosecutor confirmed jurors a string of messages that Metropolitan Police Lt. Shane Lamond and Tarrio privately exchanged within the run-up to a mob’s assault on the Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021. Lamond, an intelligence officer for the town’s police division, was answerable for monitoring teams just like the Proud Boys once they got here to Washington for protests.

Lower than three weeks earlier than the Jan. 6 riot, Lamond warned Tarrio that the FBI and U.S. Secret Service had been “all spun up” over discuss on an Infowars web present that the Proud Boys deliberate to decorate up as supporters of President Joe Biden on the Democrat’s inauguration day.

Justice Division prosecutor Conor Mulroe requested a authorities witness, FBI Particular Agent Peter Dubrowski, how frequent it’s for regulation enforcement to reveal inner info in that style.

“I’ve by no means heard of it,” Dubrowski stated.

Tarrio was arrested in Washington two days earlier than the Capitol assault and charged with burning a Black Lives Matter banner taken from a historic Black church throughout a protest in December 2020. He was launched from jail earlier than the riot and wasn’t in Washington on Jan. 6.

In a message to Tarrio on Dec. 25, 2020, Lamond stated Metropolitan Police Division investigators had requested him to establish Tarrio from {a photograph}. He warned Tarrio that police could also be in search of a warrant for his arrest.

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Later, on the day of his arrest, Tarrio posted a message to different Proud Boys leaders that stated, “The warrant was simply signed.”

Earlier than the trial began in January, Tarrio’s attorneys stated Lamond’s testimony can be essential for his protection, supporting Tarrio’s claims that he was seeking to keep away from violence. Mulroe stated Lamond has asserted his Fifth Modification privilege in opposition to self-incrimination.

Tarrio’s attorneys have accused prosecutors of bullying Lamond into preserving quiet by warning the officer he may very well be charged with obstructing the investigation into Tarrio, a Miami resident who was nationwide chairman of the Proud Boys. Prosecutors deny that declare.

Sabino Jauregui, one among Tarrio’s attorneys, stated different messages present Tarrio routinely cooperated with police and had offered Lamond with helpful info. Jauregui stated prosecutors “dragged (Lamond’s) title by the mud” and falsely insinuated he’s a “soiled cop” who had an inappropriate relationship with Tarrio.

“That was their theme again and again,” Jauregui informed U.S. District Decide Timothy Kelly throughout a break in testimony.

Lamond was positioned on administrative go away by the police drive in February 2022, in keeping with Mark Schamel, an legal professional for the officer. Schamel stated Lamond aided in Tarrio’s arrest for burning the Black Lives Matter banner.

In an announcement Wednesday, Schamel stated Lamond’s job required him to speak with a wide range of teams protesting in Washington and his conduct “was applicable and all the time centered on the safety of the residents of Washington, DC.”

“At no time did Lt. Lamond ever help or help the hateful and divisive agenda of any of the assorted teams that got here to DC to protest,” Schamel stated. “Extra importantly, Lt. Lamond is a adorned official who doesn’t condone the hateful rhetoric or the unlawful conduct on January sixth and was solely speaking with these people as a result of the mission required it.”

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Tarrio and his 4 lieutenants are charged with seditious conspiracy for what prosecutors stated was a plot to cease the peaceable switch of presidential energy and hold former President Donald Trump within the White Home after the 2020 presidential election. Hundreds of rioters stormed the Capitol on Jan. 6, disrupting a joint session of Congress for certifying the Electoral Faculty vote.

Proud Boys members describe the group as a politically incorrect males’s membership for “Western chauvinists.” They usually brawled with antifascist activists at rallies and protests for years earlier than the Capitol assault.

In a message to Tarrio on Dec. 18, 2020, Lamond stated different police investigators had requested him if the Proud Boys are racist. The officer stated he informed them that the group had Black and Latino members, “so not a racist factor.”

“It is not being investigated by the FBI, although. Simply us,” Lamond added.

“Superior,” Tarrio replied.

In one other alternate that day, Lamond requested Tarrio if he had known as in an nameless tip claiming accountability for the flag burning.

“I did greater than that,” Tarrio responded. “It is on my social media.”

In a message to Tarrio on Dec. 11, 2020, Lamond informed him concerning the whereabouts of antifascist activists. The officer requested Tarrio if he ought to share that info with uniformed law enforcement officials or hold it to himself.

Two days later, Tarrio requested Lamond what the police division’s “common consensus” was concerning the Proud Boys.

“That is too sophisticated for a textual content reply,” Lamond replied. “That is an in-person dialog over a beer.”

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Tarrio’s co-defendants are Proud Boys chapter chief Ethan Nordean, of Auburn, Washington; Joseph Biggs, of Ormond Seaside, Florida, a self-described Proud Boys organizer; Zachary Rehl, who led a Proud Boys chapter in Philadelphia; and Dominic Pezzola, a gaggle member from Rochester, New York.

They’re amongst a slew of Proud Boys members going through fees within the riot. 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 responsible to a misdemeanor unlawful entry cost. The Related Press despatched an e mail to Finley’s legal professional in search of remark Wednesday.


Related Press reporter Alanna Durkin Richer in Boston contributed to this report.