An excerpt from Politico Magazine. To read the full article, click here.
The explosive indictment of a District of Columbia police officer accused of aiding the Proud Boys ricocheted through the headlines this week: Before the Jan. 6 riot, Lieutenant Shane Lamond allegedly tipped off the far-right group’s leader Enrique Tarrio about police plans — giving a heads-up about an impending arrest and advising Proud Boys to switch to encrypted texting to avoid law enforcement.
In Washington, where Lamond is a member of the same police force that patrols city streets and battles neighborhood crime, the story has been greeted with a fair amount of surprise: After all, this is a cosmopolitan capital with residents from around the world, a place where the mayor, the police chief, and a majority of Lamond’s fellow officers are people of color. In theory, it ought to be an inhospitable environment for a guy who, according to prosecutors, told the “Western chauvinist” group that “I can’t say it officially, but personally I support you all.”
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.
Verheyden-Hilliard helped raise the alarm over incidents like a 2017 case where a D.C. officer was spotted at court in a shirt featuring an apparent white supremacist symbol. In 2018, she went to court to force the department to share information about contacts with extremist organizations including the Oath Keepers after video from an extremist group was used as part of the prosecution of several anti-Trump protesters. And in 2019, video surfaced of officers fist-bumping Proud Boys outside the White House.