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Charges Over D.C. Officer's Collusion With Proud Boys No Surprise

Allegations that a Washington, D.C., police officer tipped off the far-right Proud Boys group about police plans was greeted with a fair amount of surprise, but in fact the ranks of the capital's Metropolitan Police Department are no stranger to political extremism, Politico reports. The idea of a local officer with extremist ties was certainly no surprise to Michael Fanone, the former D.C. cop who became a national figure after being nearly killed by the mob attacking the Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021. Fanone ultimately left the force, alienated by colleagues who snubbed him for speaking out against political figures he thinks downplayed the riot. Fanone’s memoir last year painted a grim picture of a racially riven local police force riddled with insurrection sympathizers even after scores of officers risked their lives defending the Capitol. The arrest also didn’t shock Mara Verheyden-Hilliard, a civil rights attorney who has spent years in litigation with the department, often on behalf of protesters who claimed to have been mistreated. “It has been brought to their attention repeatedly,” she said. “There has, to our knowledge, never been an investigation or a housecleaning.”

The new indictment may offer more reason to investigate. Lt. Shane Lamond, a 24-year veteran of the force and leader of the Intelligence Branch of the department’s Homeland Security unit until last year, was indicted May 19 on charges that he colluded with Proud Boy leader Enrique Tarrio, giving him a heads-up about an impending arrest and advising Proud Boys to switch to encrypted texting to avoid law enforcement. Lamond allegedly told the “Western chauvinist” group, “I can’t say it officially, but personally I support you all," according to prosecutors. Tarrio and three other members of the organization, identified as a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center, were convicted earlier this month of seditious conspiracy and face a possible 20 years in prison. Lamond has pleaded not guilty. Lamond’s lawyer, Mark Schamel, said his client did not share the views of the contacts he made in the line of work. “He’s not a member of any extremist groups and we’re very comfortable that the evidence will show that he was doing his job,” Schamel said.


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