US police officer charged for allegedly aiding Proud Boys

The leader of a Washington, DC police intelligence unit faces allegations he tipped off the leader of the far-right group.

Proud Boys members flash a sign in front of the US Capitol
Members of the far-right Proud Boys in front of the US Capitol on January 6, 2021 [File: Jim Urquhart/Reuters]

The head of a police intelligence unit in the United States is facing criminal charges after allegedly warning the leader of the far-right Proud Boys group about an arrest warrant and leaking other law enforcement information, according to an indictment released on Friday.

Lieutenant Shane Lamond of the Metropolitan Police Department in Washington, DC, is accused of giving Proud Boys leader Enrique Tarrio confidential information, the US Justice Department said.

The information pertained to an investigation into the 2020 burning of a “Black Lives Matter” banner stolen from a church in the US capital. Lamond is also accused of tipping Tarrio off that he faced arrest in the matter.

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 on one count of obstruction of justice and three counts of making false statements. He was arrested on Friday and 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 Justice Department’s investigation.

A lawyer for Lamond did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

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 Matter banner case and was sentenced to five months in prison in 2021.

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

Source: Reuters