| 5 December 2023, Tuesday |

Washington police officer charged over allegedly aiding Proud Boys leader

The head of the Washington, D.C., police department’s intelligence division is accused of leaking additional law enforcement material and informing the far-right Proud Boys group’s leader about an arrest warrant, according to an indictment made public on Friday.

According to the U.S. Justice Department, Proud Boys leader Enrique Tarrio received private information from Metropolitan Police Department Lieutenant Shane Lamond about an investigation into the burning of a “Black Lives Matter” banner that was taken from a church in the nation’s capital in 2020 and was later informed that he would be arrested in connection with the incident.

Lamond, who supervised the Intelligence Branch of the police department’s Homeland Security Bureau, also made false and misleading statements to federal law enforcement agents about his communications with Tarrio, the Justice Department said.

A federal grand jury indicted Lamond, who was arrested on Friday, on one count of obstruction of justice and three counts of making false statements. He faces a maximum of 30 years in prison.

The police department said Lamond, who has worked for the force for 24 years, was placed on administrative leave in February 2022 because of the U.S. investigation.

His lawyer, Mark Schamel, said in a statement that Lamond’s job “required contact with extremist groups who sought to undermine our democracy on January 6th, yet he does not, nor has he ever, supported their views.” Schamel said the evidence at trial would show the allegations were “unfairly levied.”

According to the indictment, Lamond and Tarrio had been in regular contact since 2019. Prosecutors disclosed communications between the two including a text exchange after the 2020 presidential election in which Democrat Joe Biden defeated then-President Donald Trump.

Lamond wrote, “Hey brother, sad, sad news today. You all planning anything.”

“Yep,” Tarrio responded.

Tarrio pleaded guilty to charges in the Black Lives banner case and in 2021 was sentenced to five months in prison.

A jury in a separate case this month convicted Tarrio and other members of the Proud Boys of seditious conspiracy involving the Jan. 6, 2021, attack on the U.S. Capitol by Trump supporters.

  • Reuters