Home Covid-19 31 linked to white nationalist group arrested near Pride event in Idaho

31 linked to white nationalist group arrested near Pride event in Idaho

Thirty-one people affiliated with the white nationalist group Patriot Front were arrested near an annual LGBTQ+ event Saturday in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho, police said.

The suspects were booked on suspicion of conspiracy to riot, Coeur d’Alene Police Chief Lee White said at an afternoon news conference.

He said police were made aware in recent days that a number of groups planned to disrupt Pride in the Park, an annual event highlighting civil rights struggles for the LGBTQ+ communities.

Staffing was increased and awareness was heightened by the time dispatchers fielded a report of 20 people in a U-Haul vehicle Saturday afternoon, White said.

The suspects wore masks, had shields, and “looked like a little army,” he said, quoting the caller who reported the suspicious activity.

Ten minutes after that 1:38 p.m. U-Haul report, police stopped the vehicle and a total of 31 people in “similar attire” were arrested, the chief said.

Police in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho, detain people pulled Saturday, June. 11, 2022, from a U-Haul truck near the city’s Pride celebration.Georji Brown

Suspects resided in multiple states, including Texas, Utah, Idaho, Colorado, South Dakota, Illinois, Arkansas, Wyoming, Washington, Oregon and Virginia, White said.

“They came to riot,” he said.

Without that citizen’s report of masked people in a U-Haul, he said, law enforcement may have been less effective in protecting Pride in the Park participants, the chief suggested.

The suspects, he emphasized, allegedly had gear and plans for disruption. “I don’t think this [arrest operation] would have been as successful,” White said.

Federal law enforcement partners have been in contact with local police on the matter, the chief said, and there had been rumors of groups coming to Coeur D’Alene with firearms, bear mace and edged weapons, he said.

One smoke grenade was found among the suspects’ belongings, the chief said. Presumed suspects were spotted loading the U-Haul earlier in the day at a local hotel, White said.

Two other suspects at or near the day’s Pride events were cited for separate allegations of disorderly conduct and trespassing and released, the chief said. Both suspects are from Oregon, he said.

Organizer of Pride in the Park, the North Idaho Pride Alliance, warned supporters on Facebook Saturday to “make sure to stay aware of your surroundings.”

Otherwise, it thanked the community for a successful 2022 event.

On Tuesday the police department said it was staffing up for the Pride event but emphasized there was no specific information indicating groups planned to riot.

The Southern Poverty Law Center identifies Patriot Front as a white nationalist “hate” group.

Cristian Santana contributed.

Most Popular

New York City, DC run out of monkeypox vaccines

Monkeypox: What you need to know Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security senior scholar says what people should do if they contract...

Russian strike hits shopping center with more than 1,000 people inside, Ukraine says

The Ukrainian Air Force Command reported that the missiles were fired from long-range bombers that took off from a Russian air base north of...

Court Revives Block of Vaccine Mandate for Federal Workers 

In a reversal for President Joe Biden, a federal appeals court in New Orleans on Monday agreed to reconsider its own April ruling that...

Witnesses relive fearless rescue from fireball house

Around a dozen fearless members of the public dug through rubble to rescue a seriously injured man from a burning building after a gas...