State Watch

Idaho police facing death threats after Patriot Front members’ arrests, chief says

Coeur d’Alene, Idaho, officials on Monday said they received death threats after arresting 31 members of a white nationalist group near a Pride event.

During a press conference on Monday, Coeur d’Alene Police Chief Lee White said there was a ”50/50 split” between those who have expressed support for officials following the arrest and those who have reached out with anger and threats.

The first 50 percent “are happy to give us their name and tell us that they’re proud of the work that we did and they’re happy to be a part of this community,” White said.

“The other 50 percent, who are completely anonymous, who want nothing more than to scream and yell at us and use some really choice words, offer death threats against myself and other members of the police department merely for doing our jobs,” he added.

During Monday’s press conference, the police chief was joined by Coeur d’Alene Mayor Jim Hammond, who said, “We are not a city that wants to discriminate. We are not a city who wishes to bring any hurt upon anyone.”

“It’s important because Coeur d’Alene has experienced that before. We’re not going back to the days of the Aryan Nations. We are past that, and we will do everything we can to make sure that we continue to stay past those kinds of problems,” the mayor said.

Their remarks came as an update after police on Saturday responded to a tip about a large group of people wearing matching outfits and masks and arrested 31 people with ties to the Patriot Front.

The Patriot Front is a white supremacist and neo-Nazi group that considers Black Americans, Jewish people and the LGBTQ community to be enemies, according to a George Washington University researcher Jon Lewis. 

Over the weekend, White said that members of the group were dressed in Patriot Front paraphernalia and came from at least 11 different states.

On Saturday afternoon, White said police “received a telephone call from a concerned citizen who reported that approximately 20 people jumped into a UHAUL wearing masks.” 

“They had shields and ‘looked like a little army,’” he noted of the situation, which occurred near a northern Idaho pride event.

Tags Coeur d'Alene Idaho Patriot Front
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