The white supremacist group Patriot Front was arrested Saturday by the uthorities. They were discovered packed in the back of an U-Haul truck containing riot gear.
The men were standing inside the truck wearing khakis, navy blue shirts and beige hats with white balaclavas covering their faces when Coeur d’Alene police stopped the U-Haul and began arresting them on the side of the road.
“They came to riot downtown,” Coeur d’Alene Police Chief Lee White said at a news conference.
White stated that all 31 men were accused of conspiracy to riot. This is a misdemeanor. He said that the men went through the booking process on Saturday and were scheduled to appear in court Monday.
White claimed that they found evidence and documents to show that the group planned to cause chaos in downtown areas, not only the park.
White stated that police found one smoke grenade and riot gear inside the van. White stated that the men wore arm patches, logos, and hats which identified them to be Patriot Front members.
Police learned about the U-Haul from a tipster, who reported that “it looked like a little army was loading up into the vehicle” in the parking lot of a hotel, White said. He said that officials spotted the truck shortly afterward and pulled it over.
Police arrested members of white supremacist organization Patriot Front, near an Idaho pride celebration on Saturday, June 11, 2022. They were discovered packed in a U-Haul truck containing riot gear.
You can see the video of the arrest on social media. The men are seen kneeling down on the ground with their hands wrapped around their shoulders.
“Reclaim America” was written on the back of one shirt.
The men were led by police one at a time to the front of the patrol cars. They then took off their masks, and brought them to a van.
White claimed that at least eleven countries were involved in the arrests, which included Washington, Oregon Texas, Utah and Colorado as well Colorado, South Dakota, South Dakota, Illinois. Wyoming, Virginia, Arkansas and Arkansas.
He said that only one of them was from Idaho.
The truck was stopped near where the North Idaho Pride Alliance was holding the Coeur d’Alene Pride in the Park event. During the event, police increased their presence.
“It appears these people did not come here to engage in peaceful events,” Kootenai County Sheriff Bob Norris told a Coeur d’Alene Press reporter.
Patriot Front is described by the Southern Poverty Law Center as “a white nationalist hate group” that formed after the deadly “Unite the Right” rally in Charlottesville, Virginia in 2017.
“Patriot Front focuses on theatrical rhetoric and activism that can be easily distributed as propaganda for its chapters across the country,” the Southern Poverty Law Center said of the group.
The group’s manifesto calls for the formation of a white ethnostate in the United States, the Southern Poverty Law Center said.
Bellisle was based in Seattle.
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